Monday, June 24, 2019

Reviews - Toy Story 4, NOS4A2, Prodigy, and Baroness’s Gold and Grey Album – Plus New Releases

Jamie at Just the Cheese is interviewing Chewbacca (played by me) on Wednesday – check it out for some slightly raunchy laughs!

Plus – we have a guest at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group site today who got a three book deal all because of #IWSGPit! So check it out.

Movie Reviews

Toy Story 4 

There was no short before the film, which was fine. (The one about the woman eating her dumpling son was just weird.)
This film had the feel good sensibilities of the first movie and it felt similar in tone. It picks up not too long after Andy gave the toys to Bonnie.
It was great seeing all the characters again. Newcomer Forky added a lot of humor. Bonnie made him at school out of a spork from the trash and he keeps climbing back into trash cans while Woody does what he can to convince Forky he’s Bonnie’s new favorite toy, not trash.
The animation is of course spectacular.
On the surface it seems like a kid’s movie, but the many adult themes that weave their way through the story will resonate with adults. Woody was purposeless and didn’t know where he fit in anymore – that’s a heavy concept for kids.
It was a fitting way to end it, if it really is the end this time.
Not my favorite Toy Story but better than three and I enjoyed it.
Recommended

NOS4A2

From the IMDB - Charlie Manx, a seductive immortal who feeds off the souls of children, has his whole world threatened when a young woman (Vic McQueen) in New England discovers she has a dangerous gift.
For those who think famous people’s kids get all the breaks – well, they do. I’ve never read any of the books by Joe Hill (a.k.a. – Joe KING) so I can’t speak to the man’s writing prowess. But after watching the first couple episodes, the story is very entertaining.
It’s like X-Men combined with horror. Some people have unique special powers. Some can go anywhere through a magical bridge and find lost things (like Vic McQueen), some can see the future through Scrabble tiles, and some (like Charlie Manx) can stay perpetually young by siphoning life from children.
It’s an interesting twist on the vampire legend. Stephen King called it ‘Scary as hell,’ but it’s not really scary – just very intriguing. (Yeah, don’t you wish your dad was famous and gave you a blurb like that?) Although it is starting to drag just a little bit...
The show is on AMC – recommended.

Prodigy

From Rotten Tomatoes - A secret branch of the military calls upon psychologist James Fonda to take the case of a dangerous patient, nine-year-old Ellie.
This is an effective film on a very tiny budget, taking place in one building. It’s a science fiction thriller/drama that’s all psychological, so don’t expect a lot of action. It’s a cat-and-mouse battle of wits between Ellie and James.
What really sells the movie is the actress playing Ellie, Savannah Liles. She is chilling as the gifted, super-genius, and very dangerous child. She’s also cold and heartless, making it even more difficult to get through to her. And scary to try!
It doesn’t break new ground, but it’s definitely worth a watch.
Recommended

Baroness - Gold and Grey

I picked up their first album, Red, in 2007. While I enjoyed it, the album reminded me of Mastodon. I kind of forgot about them until Purple was released in 2015 and I fell in love with their unique brand of rock, sludge, and prog rock.
Cut to Gold and Grey which furthers their sound and cements them in my eyes (or ears) as one of the most vibrant and interesting bands making music today.
Every song has its own feel and style, and yet they all fit together to create a cohesive – dare I say – masterpiece. Practically every song is an earworm in the best way possible.
So catchy and inventive, it’s my second favorite album of the year. (Right behind Devon Townsend’s Empath.) I recommend it for people who enjoy music that challenges them.

New Releases

Windy Hollow
Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
By Tara Tyler

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.
Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.
Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...
Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings.
Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

Find it on Amazon

The Demon Kiss
Rite World: Blackthorn Hunters Academy, Book 1
By Juliana Haygert
A young woman with a secret heritage. A man who made a deal with the devil. And an academy where the students are just as dangerous as the demons...
Find it on Amazon

City of Wished 4: The Eternal Night
By Rachel Morgan
Cinderella retold: Fae, vampires, shifters, and a Godmother who’ll grant you any wish—if you pay the price.
Find it on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble


Don’t forget the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest is open and taking submissions!

Genre is middle grade historical – adventure/ fantasy and the theme is voyagers.

See the site for full details.





Anyone else see Toy Story 4? Watching NOS4A2? Seen Prodigy? Want to take a chance on Baroness’ great new album? Picking up some new books? And are you entering the IWSG Anthology Contest – just two more months to send your submission!
See you next Wednesday for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post.
And don’t forget to visit Just the Cheese !

76 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

Neither link took me where I expected today. (Jamie is celebrating the birth of his daughter and the IWSG Support Group is discussing rejection. Am I too early?
Congratulations to all with new releases.

Elephant's Child said...

And, which I should have said earlier, congratulations to Jamie and his partner, and a big welcome to their newest addition).

Pat Hatt said...

Haven't watched Toy Story 4 yet, but will. NOS4A2 sounds interesting, but yeah, famous kids do get them easy breaks haha

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Thanks for the reviews, good buddy. I'm going to check out Prodigy and AMC's NOS4A2 because I appreciate variations on the vampire theme and psycho thrillers featuring precocious child actors that are able to portray sinister characters effectively.

Have a super week, good buddy Alex!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I'm sure I'll get to see Toy Story on the tv at some stage ... but appreciate all the help you give here and review of films et al I probably won't get to - but at least I've an idea if someone discusses them. All the best - Hilary

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sounds like it's not too bad of an ending for the Toy Store series. My daughter has been talking about it, so we'll probably see it at some point. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elephant's Chile, IWSG posts don't go live until five am Eastern, so yeah, too early. I'm hoping Jamie's post does go live today - will keep you updated.

Shady, she is scary precocious!

Liza said...

I heard good things about Toy Story 4. My niece said when she went, there was no one under 18 in the theater!

Chemist Ken said...

I think the family gave a collective sigh of "we're skipping this one" when we saw the Toy Story 4 trailer. I was hoping they'd let it rest in peace after the last one, so it's good to hear that this one doesn't suck. Still probably won't watch it though. Thanks for the update.

Joanne said...

I'm looking forward to Toy Story 4 - hope to see it this week. Ray's been out of town a bunch - we have to catch up.
Also, Ray read NOS4ATU and he liked it. He's a fan of any King family book. I'll have to tell him about the series. Sounds too scary for me.
Have a good week!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I read NOS4A2 back when it came out. I liked it, but thought it was too long.

We recently watched the first season of The Terror (on AMC) and enjoyed it overall. The acting was great!

I can't believe it's already almost time for IWSG again!

mshatch said...

I read NOS4A2 and loved it, and his other book, Horns, also very good, though I liked NOS4A2 better.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Toy Story 4 was cute, but most of the characters took a backseat to Woody.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I'm always picking up new books. It's finding the time to READ them, that's problematic. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ken, it got such great reviews, we decided to give it a go.

Joanne, hope he enjoys the series. Be curious how much changed from book to movie.

Madeline, The Terror was great!

The Cynical Sailor said...

Charly's #IWSGPit story is really inspiring - huge congrats to her and to everyone else for their release.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Well, I am behind on my toy story films... will catch up. I hadn't heard of the vampire film, will have to seek out that one for sure. Sounds like a bunch of great things to see and read, heading over to your Chewie chat....

Have you heard that "END GAME" is returning to the theaters soon, with more footage. I haven't looked into it any more.

Happy Monday, thank you brother.. for being a brother!

Jeremy

Andrew Leon said...

With Lasseter gone from Disney, this is probably the last Toy Story.

Chris Phillips said...

I'm not pleased they won't let toy story go. I'm sure my kid will make me watch it. Prodigy looks interesting.

Jemi Fraser said...

Looking forward to the new Toy Story.
Still have to find out if the idea walking around in my head will work for the IWSG contest :)

Mary Kirkland said...

I have Prodigy on my list to watch at some point.

Juneta key said...

Congrats to all the authors with book releases.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jeremy, sounds like they just want another cash grab so they can become the top grossing film ever.

Andrew, the way it ended, it should be.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I visited Just the Cheese a bit early, but it was all good...I love to see new baby pics. :)

Yeah, can you imagine just having Stephen King beta read for you? Awesome.

Birgit said...

Mr. Cheese might be very busy with baby #3-wow! I thought he just had one...better him than me. I really want to see Toy Story 4 which looks like fun and they made Bo-Peep bad ass it seems like-a great gal who can hold her own. I saw that dumb ass dumpling short and I think that one won the Oscar! I might be wrong but I thought it was stupid. I don't know the scary kid film and not sure I want to see it because of nightmares (Hey, I dreamt that George and Amal Clooney were carting around the coffin with Michael Jackson's mummified remains inside it.). I don't know the music but I love the artwork on the album

J E Oneil said...

I saw Prodigy. It was pretty good. Gold and Grey has a beautiful album cover. Way to go, Baroness.

sherry fundin said...

prodigy sounds like a winner
sherry @ fundinmental

Chrys Fey said...

I actually loved Toy Story 3. It made me cry. A few times. lol I'm a little surprised that they came out with another, though.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Will probably take my grands to see Toy Story. There's rarely anything up for little ones.

Congrats to all the new releases!!!

Ray Rousell said...

I shall no doubt be dragged to the cinema kicking and screaming to see Toy Story 4! And I'll still enjoy it more than the kids.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Birgit, I thought that short was as creepy as hell.

JE, one of the members of the band does all of their artwork.

Ray, you'll get all the adult stuff they won't.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad to know the Toy Story movie is for adults too. I still enjoy kids movie so I'll probably like it too.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Ah, Chewbacca, can't miss this one.

Patricia Lynne said...

I rolled my eyes a bit when I heard there was a Toy Story 4. I thought 3 wrapped everything up and now it just felt like a cash grab. I'm sure it will be enjoyable enough. This series is unique in that the sequels didn't suck royally. LOL

T Drecker said...

I sighed when I saw a trailer for Toy Story 4, and we won't be seeing it. Although it is good to know that they did a good job. I'm sure people will enjoy it.

Mason Canyon said...

Hard to image Toy Story coming to a real ending. Congratulations to everyone with new releases.

Liz A. said...

I'm Toy Story'd out. I don't even think I saw the third one...

I've heard good things about NOS4A2.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'm not sure I'll see Toy Story 4. Maybe if I'm around one day while somebody's watching it on Netflix or whatever, but probably won't go to the theater. The first one was wonderful but no need to keep recycling the same old themes.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

My son watched the Toy Story movies a couple of times when he was really young, then decided he didn't like them. We probably won't see this one, though I have seen the other three.

Do we have a theme for next month's IWSG? I don't think the newsletter has gone out yet.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I'm glad Toy Story didn't disappoint.
I'm also looking forward to visiting Just the Cheese on Wednesday.
Be well, Alex.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Prodigy sounds interesting. Now that exam season over hoping to get back into theatres with the family...
Have a great week.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, have I not updated the question on the page? I'll go check.

Robyn, you will appreciate our banter!

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex

I will be sure to read the interview on Wednesday. I am sure it will be amusing.

I have not seen Toy Story, however, i’ve seen a lot of promotional clips. It looks entertaining. Who doesn’t like Buzz Lightyear and Woody? Which character is your favorite and why? A tough call as they both have endearing qualities.

Great news that the twitter pitch was a link to success for an author. Some dreams really do come true.

Have a great week!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

I read Joe Hill's THE FIREMAN and found it was his take on his father's THE STAND -- though it was enjoyable. Horns was not so much. I think I will pass on NOS4A2 -- and Prodigy ( I am wearying of horror these days as the world is enough of a horror show all by itself!) :-)

Tyrean Martinson said...

I went to see Toy Story 4 for a friend's birthday and loved it. Greta review, Alex!
Congratulations to all the authors!

Sandra said...

I don't normally read the horror genre, but I've heard Joe Hill is a good author. I think it would be difficult to try to measure up to a super star parent. Of course, as you say, the parent's kudos are helpful:)

Helena said...

I am SO behind on Toy Story that I want to see 2 and 3 before moving on to 4. But I know just what you mean about one level of the film being for grown-ups. I loved that about Finding Nemo and the Incredibles, and going back to look at oh-so-old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons (and the wonderful Fractured Fairy Tales) reveal jokes I never understood as a child.

Rhonda Albom said...

I am excited to see Toy Story 4, as now two people I trust (you and my daughter) have liked it. Normally, I would skip a movie this far down the sequence. I am also now wanting to see Prodigy, although I hadn't heard of it yet.

Looking forward to reading Tara's new book too. It's a good week for new stuff.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Truedessa, probably Buzz. I really like Tim Allen.

Sandra, I woldn't want that pressure.

Helena, I remember Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Loni Townsend said...

I don't think my kids have seen any of the Toy Story movies, but it's on the list of things to marathon watch with them. :)

Susan Kane said...

Toy Story 4 is on our list. the others are a no.

Arlee Bird said...

The "Gold and Grey" album sounds like something I'd like, but I'll likely not be getting a copy since I don't buy music anymore. I've got CD's that I haven't listened to in many years in addition to a few hundred that I acquired from my late brother's estate that I've never even listened to yet. I just can't seem to keep up with music like I used to.


Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

You're going to be Chewbacca? I love it!

The kids saw Toy Story and gave almost the same review as you did ;-)
Prodigy sounds chilling! I'll have to see it.
Windy Hollow sounds interesting, as do the rest in the series.

Happy 4th of July!

Sandra said...

Prodigy sounds like something the HH would like. Me...probably not:)

The Angry Lurker said...

I do like the sound of nosferatu, sorry I mean NOS4A2!

Liz Fichera said...

I liked the original TOY STORY but not sure we needed 3 more. ;) Another case of ruining a good thing, IMO

Sherry Ellis said...

My daughter saw Toy Story 4 and liked it. Yes, that short about the woman eating her dumpling kid was very weird! I didn't like that one.

DMS said...

Toy Story 4 does look good and I have been hearing good things about it. Glad it was entertaining. I haven't read anything by Joe Hill- but I didn't know that was Steven King's son. Interesting...

Have a wonderful rest of the week!
~Jess

Elsie Amata said...

I'll have to give Prodigy a try.

I tried watching NOS4A2 but couldn't get into it. I didn't realize it was written by Joe Hill. I tried reading one of his books but couldn't get into that either so I guess it makes sense why I couldn't get into the show.

I will definitely be watching Toy Story 4 when it comes out on DVD. It's one of my favorites

Elsie

Sandra said...

Hope your day is productive and your evening pleasant.

LD Masterson said...

I've been in the mood for lighter. more upbeat movies lately so Toy Story 4 will take precedence over the other two. Thanks for all the great reviews.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I read an interview with Tom Hanks the other day about the Toy Story movies. From what he (and you) said, I hope to see #4 soon.

It's awesome that someone got a three-book deal because of the twitter pitch. I betcha you had no idea what good things would come out of your IWSG idea, eh? Ya done good.

Have a super weekend.

Jennifer Lane said...

Prodigy sounds interesting and creepy!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, some albums don't age well either - another reason not to listen to them.

Diedre, I was Chewbacca!

Jess, now you know!

Sandra, last night was very productive!

Susan, no, I never imagined.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I really enjoyed Toy Story 3, and it's overall message struck me hard (the whole leaving childhood behind thing). Toy Story 4 was a good movie, but for me it failed to hit the emotional high points that others in the series succeeded at. It makes me wonder what the message was. You say that Woody seemed purposeless, but for me it felt like a message that (at least as far as toys go), you only really get one kid. Andy was Woody's kid, and now he's gone and Woody just didn't get the love that he craved from Bonnie. I guess that the movie (for me) is just saying that "nothing lasts." Enjoy it while you can and hope that others get to experience love in the same way you did.

mail4rosey said...

We saw Toy Story 4. My son thinks he is getting a little old for these movies, but then he got excited to see an Angry Birds movie trailer, lol. I'm 29 (hahaha, yeah, right!) and still never get tired of the animated movies. Glad you got your prize, thanks for letting me know. :)

Magic Love Crow said...

Thanks for the reviews Alex! Congrats to everyone's book releases! Congrats with the interview! Take care Alex!

Al Penwasser said...

If Toy Story 4 makes oodles of money, I doubt that's the last we'll see of them.
Unless they're all destroyed in a fire. That should take care of things. I haven't seen it, so I don't know if that happens.
If so...can you imagine...Zombie Woody?

Murees Dupè said...

I love to read your movie and music reviews, and finding out about new book releases. Most movies I wouldn't have watched, if not for your honest break-down of them.

J Lenni Dorner said...

I haven't seen these movies. Did see the new Child's Play. It seems more plausible (programming instead of dark magic), which I think made it more creepy than the original. Felt bad for the cat though.

Hope you had a good time as a Wookie. LOL.

Truedessa said...

I read your interview - it was very funny you make an entertaining Chewbacca.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, Bonnie was Jessie's third kid and she was doing fine.

Al, I'd watch a zombie Toy Story movie!

Spacer Guy said...

I have to admit Toy Story has that fun grown up adventure for ya to settle down with family and celebrate. I can think of no better movie than Toy Story, so if anyones got a bunch of kids then nows the time. Congrats to all the authors and the luck of the IWSGPit..

Unknown said...

I want to see the new Lion King when it comes out. The HH. Not so much:(
Sandra (I'm on a different computer. Mine is hospitalized.)

Pat Garcia said...

Hi,
I'm laughing because all of my characters have a little bit of me in them. Even my villains. :-)
Have a happy fourth of July.
Shalom aleichem,
Pat G

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I do want to see the new Toy Story. I read some of Joe Hill's books. I actually liked them better than any of King's recent stuff.