How was everyone’s Christmas? Mine rocked – so many geek toys – and my wife was thrilled with her gifts. Score one for the Ninja…
A to Z Challenge blog. What’s the A to Z Challenge? Only the most awesome, largest blogfest of its kind! Started by Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out, the Challenge is blogging the Alphabet during the month of April – posting daily with Sundays off for good behavior. The first year we only had a hundred participants. This year, we had over twelve hundred. Next year – who knows?! Right now, Arlee is featuring reflection posts from this year’s Challenge and today is my post! I also have the honor of co-hosting again in 2012. Want to know more about the A to Z Challenge? Then check it out!
Now a recap, some news, and two movie reviews!
In case you missed my blogging tips for writers, they are now up at Daily Write. Thanks to those of you who came back for the link last week!
The Debutante Ball: Feast of Debut Authors continues this week. Don’t forget to enter my giveaway HERE – win a copy of CassaStar and review copy of CassaFire!
Speaking of CassaFire, Edi’s Book Lighthouse posted the most amazing review I’ve ever read. The one authors dream of receiving. I read it thinking “Wow, I want to read that book. Oh crap, it’s MY book!” Read it and you’ll understand what I mean.
Movie411 Awards were announced last week – I won Best Sci-Fi Blog second year in a row. Won’t be three though, as I’m withdrawing my blog to give others a chance. AND – I’m a judge next year! Thanks for the honor, Dempsey.
I’ve always enjoyed this series, and with this film, they achieved the perfect balance of action and humor. The inclusion of Simon Pegg ensures some laugh-worthy moments. There are some incredible action sequences and breathtaking locations. The scene involving the Burj Khalifa building is beyond tense. Incredible effects make you believe Cruise is really scaling the side of the world’s tallest building. (Or, maybe he was?) Another great installment in this franchise!
Spielberg does a pretty good stupid horse film. Visually impressive and sentimental, it’s also very intense. And at two and a half hours, it’s a bit too long for the intensity. However, it’s an amazing journey this horse goes on, changing hands and sides many times, with a strong message of bravery.
Be sure to check out the A to Z Challenge blog today!
Have you already entered my contest? Read the blogging tips and review from Heaven? Seen either of those two movies? Watched Drew Brees break Dan Marino's passing record? Ready for Friday’s preview of upcoming January movies? That’s right - January 2012!! Are you ready for another year?!?!?!?!
I'm off to read your A to Z post.
Oooh so want to see Mission Impossible - Brad Bird is so becoming one of my fave directors/writers. I LOVE LOVE LOVE all his animation films and this MI promises to be as fab too!
I'm off to read your A to Z post next, then Edi's review!!!!
Despite the fact that I flounder at posting regularly, the A to Z was fun this year and I'm going for it in 2012!
War Horse looks too much like how you expect it to be. Was there anything new or surprising about it? The stage play at least had the impressive puppet horses.
Ghost Protocol has got really good reviews (especially from my young nephews) so will have to check it out.
Checking out your blogging tips asap.
How you manage to visit so many sites and comment is beyond my comprehension.
Super powers? Space/time continuum? Horcuxes?
I've heard great things about MI - 4 . I can't wait to see it!!! :) War Horse hasn't appealed to me yet...so we'll see if I venture out to see it. LOL. I might have to check out that A-Z challenge. I've heard a lot about it. :)
Have a super day!
Pleased you had a great Christmas, have just read your A to Z reflections. Congrats on the award and becoming a judge next year.
Have a wonderful New Year
I haven't seen wither but want to see both. But first, I'm finally going to get around to watching Sherlock Holmes 2.
Congrats on the award and the awesome review. :-)
Hi Alex .. I'd love to see the play of Warhorse .. sounds very impressive - but may get to the movie sometime.
Popped on over to the A - Z challenge .. great reflective post ..
Enjoy the Festivities - - - rest of! Cheers Hilary
Gotta go and read those tips at Daily Write and A to Z. I can't wait for the challenge.
Will have to check out Ghost Protocol and War Horse if I have the dough. Both sound excellent.
Congrats on the award. Yay!!!! I am so excited you'll be a part of the 2012 awards.
MI Ghost Protocol was awesome. Really wish I had seen it in IMAX format. War Horse is on my slate for this coming weekend. We saw Dragon Tatoo yesterday..it didn't disappoint.
Off to read your A to Z post. Have a great week! :)
that A to Z post sounds cool!
You are too busy. You make my head spin. I want to see Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, though my sister said I should see the Swedish version first. (The Dragon With The Girl Tattoo...we laughed). Laughter is good. I will check out your A-Z. You are a busy man Mr. Cavanaugh. Of course I haven't read your blogging tips yet. If I did I'd have a thousand followers too! Serious congrats. on that award.
heeheehee! glad to hear that you kinda sorta enjoyed WAR HORSE because i'm telling my hubs it'll be wonderful, and he's as hesitant about it as you were!
Tom Cruise is not my fave guy actor, but the series is great, and he's very good in it. Gotta see this one! Spielberg, not so much. Horses aren't my thing.
happy day to you, all of you...
looking forward to Mi4... saw war horse with my mommy on christmas... i found it to be beautifully shot and the adventures of a strong horse who could never truly tell his story... thank you steven speilberg. i loved the moment near the end where that soldier thing happened... never pick "heads" in a german war...
Kitty, you will dig it!
Laura, glad you're doing it again.
Mood, just surprising how intense it was, but then again, it's a long war movie.
Huntress - Ninja skills!
Lynn, you should join us.
Yvonne, I'm honored to be a judge!
Misha, Sherlock Holmes was also great!
Melissa, I'm really excited and honored to be a judge next year!
DL, not seeing Dragon Tattoo, but I did see the original film.
Yvonne, thanks. And the Swedish version of the movie is good - and disturbing.
Vic, it's always the stupid horse movies, isn't it?
all we managed to hit was Sherlock Holmes, which we luuurved. Definitely want to see MI and War Horse, though i'd rather see warhorse on the stage than in the theater, but what can you do?
I maaaaay do the a-z blog challenge this year. We'll see.
War Horse is on our list to see this week. I'll have to wait until next week when the kids go back to school to see Ghost Protocol.
I'm gearing up for the A to Z Challenge! Already have a theme and outlining my posts.
I like the MI series too and can't wait to see this one. Congrats on the 411Movie Awards.
I didn't make it out to see Warhorse yet. Too exhausted from the holiday to stay awake during a movie. I like stupid horse movies, though, so I really want to see it.
So much good news. Keep it coming. I'll check out your AZ post. It was great to participate, and I'm already planning what to do this year.
I love horse movies, so War Horse is one I want to see! Does sound a little long.
Off to A to Z.
Mary Montague Sikes
Edi's review was fabulous! And congrats on the win! :) Glad to hear you had a great Christmas :)
The missus wanted to see Warhorse but we somehow ended up watching Tin Tin - also directed by Spielberg. How did he do that?
Anyway, still hoping to see MI IV. Maybe next weekend.
Pegg is the man; looking forward to that one. And congrats on the great review!
Wanted to go see MI4, just didn't have time. Glad to hear it was good. I'll have to make the time. Congrats on becoming a judge. I'll have to head over there and find out more about it.
I wondered how the new MI was. I enjoyed the series too. I'll have to give it a watch.
Hey, thanks for the A to Z heads up! I love the avie this year, very cool!
I heard that Mission Impossible was a little too over-the-top with the special effects, but I'll probably see it anyway. I saw Sherlock Holmes this weekend (which goes to show how behind the times I am) and I really like it. Great post!
Catherine, horses aren't my thing, but any movie with an animal my wife wants to see.
Jeremy, that was a great scene. Probably very true to life as well.
Sarah, hope you do!
LG, you'll like it then. It will exhaust you though.
Mary, that's great!
Rusty, maybe he's part Ninja as well...
Milo, Pegg supplies the best lines in the movie!
JA, no further over the top than Sherlock Holmes. Maybe even less so.
I am going to go and see the Zoo movie with Matt Damon and that cute blonde chick, I don't remember her name, what did you think of that?
I'm saving Mission Impossible for next week, to go with a girlfriend....
I am gonna pass on War Horse...don't like the war part, but I know I would love the horse...just saying!
Hope you had a great Christmas! Still in two minds about participating in the A to Z Blogfest.
Is Warhorse also the one that's been turned into a play where the horse is an amazing 2-person costume?
I'm off to read your tips.
So Dempsey finally figured out how to open up the field again. You'll be a great judge I'm sure.
Congrats on your best sci-fi blog win!
Like Matthew, I'm off to read your A TO Z post. Congrats on the award. I will wait for DVD to watch WARHORSE. I'm a big softie, so if a scene looks too cruel to an animal, I can fast forward.
I hope to participate in this nice challenge, I participated last year and was a nice experience and I found new friends.
Blogging tips, blog wins and the gifts were on point? Sounds like awesomeness all around.
I love your review of Warhorse. "Spielberg does a pretty good stupid horse movie", that's hilariously right on.
Hope you had a great Christmas Alex.
Geek toys? Do tell!
Great post on A to Z. I'll be doing the challenge this year. I'd like to try to visit every blog even if it's just to say "Hey! Good luck!"
I tried to leave a review for you on B&N, but I don't know if it went through. I'll wait a bit and see, but I'll go back and re-post later if it didn't work.
thanks for the kind words.
I wrote the review which CassaFirE deserved. You did a great job and I hope a lot of people will read it.
Simply Single, it's a lot of war, so best to avoid.
JC, yes it is! And hope you'll join us in 2012.
Thank you, Mary.
Roland, it does have tear-jerker potential!
TS, I call them as I see them!
Sean, several new games!
Christine, thank you!
Edi, thank you my friend.
Oh well. I'm going to see War Horse anyway, if only for the horses and the photography. Hanky in hand, I might add.
Looking forward to the A To Z :-)
I wasn't going to go see MI: Ghost Protocol, but maybe I'll give it a shot now if you think it's good. The family and I have been looking for something to see.
I heard some bad things about the new M:I movie. I enjoyed the first three, so I'm sure this one will be good, too.
I really liked Mission Impossible. The A to Z challenge sounds really hard. I'm gonna go and check it out.
I learned so much doing A to Z last year, both on the technology end (having to write posts in advance and schedule them since I was in Ireland for 10 days with iffy Internet) and on the stretching for topics end. It was quite experience and one I'll be sure to do again this year. Many people chose a theme. That would be fun. Maybe.
I want to MI. I'd never heard of Pegg until he showed up as Scotty. He's awesome.
*heads over to check out your reflections*
Lisa, you will need the hanky.
Marlena, it's excellent.
Joshua, it's 93% at Rotten Tomatoes - that's really darn good!!
Michael, it's not difficult at all. Last two years was a blast.
Donna, never heard of Simon Pegg???
And I think doing the Challenge with a theme is easier.
Read your A-Z post and thought it was great! I'm going to take part as well. Lots of great news. Thanks for stopping by, Alex.
So glad to hear you won! Always nice to see the person you voted take home the prize.
LOVED Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Simon Pegg had me literally screaming with laughter.
I'm going to go check out your A to Z post. And wow, you won 2 years in a row?! I feel like every time I come to your blog, I need to give another round of congratulations. You really are an inspiring blogger, Alex!
I'm heading over to read your A-Z post.
Congratulations on the blog award!
Thank you, SL. And Pegg was a riot.
Saumya, I have no idea what I am doing right! Thanks.
Ah Alex! Yes, I loved it and wrote a review. It'll hopefully be visible within the next couple days (according to what Amazon told me, lol). Thanks for giving me a great winter break read :)
I really appreciate your blogging tips, Alex. Good work. And CONGRATS on the blog award! Glad you had a great Xmas.
The AtoZ is tempting maybe I'll make the ninja grade in 2012!
Your post just made me tired. I'm not ready for anything yet.
I'll watch just about anything with Simon Pegg in it! LOVE!
But I won't watch a movie that's going to make me cry on purpose especially ones with animals.
I know...I'm too picky.
My kids would have loved WarHorse when they were younger. I'll wait for MI3 to come out ondemand. I did watch Drew Brees.
I'll never see all of these movies . . . at least not before next July or so. I'm with Heather. I can't watch a movie when an animal's in terrible danger or hurt. Just tell me the story about Warhorse and I'll be fine with that.
Great blog challenge!
Saumya, it's up, and it's awesome!
Hey Robyn!! Thanks.
Spacerguy, give it a try.
Heather, you will probably cry.
Susan you watched Drew break the record - good for you! And I wouldn't think WarHorse is suitable for young kids. Too scary.
Lee, boy raises horse, boy loses horse to war, horse has adventures & nearly dies, boy goes to war to find horse, they return home together. Now you know!
Hmm, thinking about seeing War Horse...Thanks for the info!
So I guess I won't do any blogging in April.
Karen, it's good, but you'll be emotionally drained by the end.
Grumpy, join the Challenge.
Hope you have an oogie boogie new year.
Dropping by to say hi! :)
Ooooh, I actually loved Ghost Protocol even though I'm not that fond of TC. My Scifi/Fantasy Movie group got free IMAX tickets to an early screening. And that scene on the Burj had my fingers buried in the armrest, and I'm usually okay with heights (exposure therapy: catwalks and climbing the ship's mast).
I've been to Dubai several times, and the Burj is crazy-high. When I was there last, there were still cranes waaaaaaaaay up near the top looking like insects.
Alex, as usual you have covered a lot of material in surprisingly few words.
I for one cannot wait for the A_Z Challenge in April. I am working on a theme this year but I will have to see how that plays out. I plan on fleshing out some posts on vacation next month.
The review of your book was awesome and I would love to win the chance to review CassaFire. BTW, any chance you patterned Athee after Kate Beckinsale, like the "Underworld" Kate?? It was the first image that came to mind when I watched the trailer.
I plan on seeing MI-GP next week. I have loved all the MI movies and no matter what anyone says I love watching Tom Cruise on film. Period.
And last but not least, I saw Brees break the record but what I really was hoping for was Rodgers to break the 50 TD mark. The KC game cost him that chance. He won't play enough this Sunday against the Lions to throw 5 TD's again. Plus the KC game kept him from threatening the 5000 yard mark as well. The Saints scare me a little as a pontential playoff opponent.
Have a Happy New Year, Alex!
LOVED Mission Impossible--only slightly less than the very first one, and that's saying something. Definitely planning on seeing War Horse, since the book rocked my world, as well as the worlds of about nine middle schoolers I teach in homeschool co-op. Hope they stick to the book on that one.
Can we just sit at Dec 30 for a week or two?
Maybe I'll start stock piling blog posts for the A-Z challenge. I really don't think I can do 26 posts in a month. At least, not anything substantial, like someone would actually want to come by and read everyday . .
Good movie prospects.
Congratulations on your award Alex! I also enjoyed your A to Z Reflections post! Wishing you and your wife a very happy New Year! Julie
Angela, that must've been a sight! My wife said her palms were sweating during that scene.
Chuck, thank you! I'm sure your theme will rock. Kate always comes to mind when I think of Athee, but I don't believe the animator made her look like Kate. Sorry about Rodgers. You're right, they won't play him enough to throw that many...
Heather, was the book intense???
Donna, you can!!! I have faith.
You as well, Julie!
I'm afraid to check out those tips, I know I'm breaking them all right now. :) Glad you had a great geeky holiday and here's to 2012.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow
Congrats on the movie award. Congrats on that awesome review. Will check out the A to Z Blog. I promise Cassa Star is up next on my kindle. Keep thinking I'll take a break from GRRM-GoT, and keep going back, I just need to finish.(Almost through 4 now).
Want to see all of the mentioned movies, so far none are playing here. I guess I'll just have to go to the beach and wait for Netflix. Life off the map.
Your blogging tips are fantastic - thanks for the link to them. I'm also intrigued by the A to Z Challenge, but a bit concerned about what I'd find to blog about. Hmm, will have to have a think.
When Alex speaks, bloggers listen! Great turnout for your A to Z Reflections post.
Congratulations on the 411 honor. And good mini-reviews of the movies.
Now to check out the CassaFire review.
Wrote By Rote
One really has to arrive early to comment at your post :)
My son has watched Mission Impossible but I did not ask him how it was. Really looking forward to April.
Did I ever wish you happy holidays Alex? Happy new year, may 2012 rocks for the Ninjas.
A-Z was a blast last year! And thanks for the review of War Horse -- my son read the book and loved it. Wants to see the film. Sounds like he'll enjoy it.
Have a great time ringing in the new year!
Saw Ghost Protocol this past weekend. Overall, I liked it. Intense with lots going on. Have been thinking about going to see Warhorse, but may have to go by myself. My husband doesn't seem enthused about going.
Jules, no you're not!
Faraway, thank you!
CD, you have a couple months to plan - please join us!
Lee, I tried!
Oceangirl, thank you, and same to you.
Helen, big surprise!
I'm glad you rated Mission Impossible so highly, Alex! It's at the top of my list of movies to see. I just saw the new Sherlock Holmes movie on Christmas Day - I could watch Robert Downey, Jr. in anything. Loved it.
Congrats on your blog win. I went over and read your blogging tips again - yep, they still rock :)
Glad to hear you and yours enjoyed the holiday.
I'm looking forward to both movies, though I'd love to see MI in the IMAX theater. Maybe I'll have to talk hubby into it.
Off to check out the A to Z blogfest...
Great A-Z post. I had a lot of fun doing the A-Z Challenge and met new bloggers which was fun. War Horse is on my list of movies to see but I'm really excited to see the play when it come to MN.
Alex, I barely made it through 2011, lol! But I am looking forward to 2012.
I do want to see Ghost Protocol and I'll probably watch Warhorse some Saturday evening.
My participation in A-Z was fun, if sporadic. I had to get creative with guest posts but still, I got in about 25% of my blogs. We'll see how this year goes.
Sia McKye OVER COFFEE
Patricia, you will enjoy it! And Downey is just plain entertaining.
Carol, thanks - you rock!
Cate, it would be awesome in IMAX!
Carrie, I'm interested in the play now as well.
Sia, I bet you can do it!!
a to z time already? let me take down my xmas decorations and have some champagne for 2012 first, wouldja!
yay for mission impossible! thanks for all the info!
Thought I'd hit China before I found the end of these comments!
I liked War Horse. Surprised the SPCA didn't have a fit with some of those scenes though. Like where the horse jumped over the trench and missed.
Congratulations for the second consecutive certainly deserves your blog.
I thought I wanted to see Warhorse...now I'm not so sure.
Hope your Christmas was wonderful Man.
God bless and have a great day!!! :o)
Tara, no rush!!
Diane, or when he ran through barbed wire. That hurt to watch.
Leovi, thank you!
Nezzy, it was! WarHorse is good, just intense.
I did watch Brees break the record. Good for him. I'm not a Saints fan (my team's the Eagles) but I do think Brees is a heck of a QB. Him and Rodgers. Brady is amazing too but I don't care for him, or Peyton Manning.
I don't know that I'm ready for 2012, but I am looking forward to it - good things are going to happen, I'm sure.
Happy New Year!
Congratulations of the Movie411 award. That's great! I loved your blogging tips and A to Z looks interesting.
Nicole, my wife adores Brees but can't stand Manning either. You women are so funny.
Patsy, yes they will!
Kristen, join us for the Challenge!
Now I really wish we had gone to see Mission Impossible! I was out voted and we went to Sherlock Holmes.
Have Happy New Year, Alex!
Trying to figure out whether my 10 year old daughter should see Warhorse. Sounds like it might have a little "Saving Private Ryan" sort of scene or two? But she's obsessed with horses right now...
Sharon, hopefully you get to see that one next.
Elizabeth, light on blood, but heavy on intense.
You have a lot going on as usual, Alex! Congrats on winning Best Sci Fi blog and very kind of you to step aside next year!!
We did watch Drew Brees nab the record. Very touching to see his reaction afterward!
Darn B&N site! I tried to leave you a review again, but it hasn't gone through. I think my five stars went through, but not the review text.
JJ Abrams should have been directing the Mission: Impossible movies all along. The first was good, the second wasn't and the 3rd and 4th were amazing. Loved every minute of it. Except maybe that over-long scene in the parking garage near the end.
Kelly, yeah, it was cool to see.
Christine, I did see the stars though!
Karen, I want that parking garage. And all the cars!
Great review of the movies! 'stupid horse film' made me laugh. Christmas was/is awesome here and we are all enjoying our gifts from/to each other. We finally went to see a movie tonight (for the first time as a family in months) - Hugo, the one my kids have been waiting for - and it wasn't what we expected but we enjoyed it. We had hoped for more action out of the clockwork man.
Anyway . . . off to see your A to Z post.
I've going to have to look into the A-Z Blogfest. It sounds like a blast.
Alex, I'm jealous, because I still haven't seen either of these two films. Will check them both out at the beginning of next year.
Oooooo, can't wait to see War Horse ... however, I'm a little skeptical about MI4 lol I hope it's better than I expect.
Tyrean, I haven't seen that one yet. Glad the stupid horse movie comment made you laugh.
Blogger Girlz, it's a blast!
I'm sure you will enjoy them, George!
Juliana, I wasn't disappointed.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, will have to go see this movie, thanks for your comment.
Yes, I want to see those movies. Last year I didn't do so great at the A to Z challenge, and I don't even remember what I was doing then? It might come back to me later.
Just read your other posts - great job! I'm really looking forward to seeing Warhorse. I met one of the "reviewers" at a recent conference and he sang its praises!
Cindy, I bet you do better in the next Challenge!
Thanks, Sylvia! And you'll enjoy Warhorse.
Had a good Christmas myself:) Thanks for the review on War Horse as well!
Happy to hear you n' yours had a great Christmas! I so want to see
Cruise scale a building, he is crazy!
I am a Simon Pegg fan, can't wait for another Star Trek movie ;D
Off to visit Arlee....
Great review by the way and Congrats on winning! Cheers~
Glad to hear you got some gadgets for Christmas ;)
I won't be watching Warhorse because I think it's a replica of Black Beauty with a few twists. I know what Hollywood does with these animal films. I understand horses because I had one and my sister has one now. We both know how to ride and how to talk to them. I still don't know what movies I'll watch Jan 2012.
Happy New Year!!!
Thanks, Ella - and you'll dig MI then!
Hey Claudia! I guess it's based on a book and a play. Maybe true story? Not sure!
No, I'm not ready for another year. I keep getting older. I don't understand.
I didn't see either of those movies, but I did see "We Bought A Zoo". It was pretty good. Can't wait to read those A-Z posts in April. This may be my first year participating. Fingers crossed.
Been hearing nothing but War Horse the oast two weeks, so I just HAVE TO check it out.
Yes I saw Brees break the record and no lie, that play to Sproles won me my fantasy league championship and a crapload if dough. That's why they call him Breesus, I guess. Let me ask you - he broke the record and only was 15 yards short from beating it as well in 2008. Does that mean he is better than Marino? Would like to hear your opinion as I was thinking about that recently.
I loved 'Ghost Protocol' which shocked me because I usually can't stand Cruise. He did this one right however, so he has no excuse to EVER make a crappy movie again. He knows what works and if he can turn my loathing of him to grundging admiration, that is a mighty hill to climb.
My son and I appreciate your movie reviews so much! We always seem to agree after seeing one for ourselves. :-) Have a wonderful, safe and happy new years weekend, Alex! ~Coreen & Brandon
I've been wondering about War Horse. Thanks for your thoughts. Seems about what I would have expected, maybe I'll go see for myself.
(my creative writing blog)
Haven't seen any of those movies yet... Am thinking I might wait till they come out on DVD.
Might do the A to Z Challenge this year:)
What a jam packed post...I don't know where to start...hmm, maybe at the top!!
Cheers, Jenny @ PEARSON REPORT
Miranda, I don't understand either!! And glad you're with us for the A to Z.
Geof, I won't even tell you where I placed in my fantasy league. And they played in such different eras, it would be difficult to compare the two. I think they are both exceptional quarterbacks.
Cal, my wife can't stand him either, but even she enjoyed the film.
Coreen and Brandon, thank you - that is good to know! Hope I don't mess up.
TF, please join us!
Jenny, they all end up jam packed.
Congratulations on the Blog Award! January looks like a slow month for movies.
If only Tom Cruse wasn't in the MI series... I just don't like him.
Congrats on the blog award Alex!
I can't wait to see war horse.
Thanks, Maurice - next year, it is all you, buddy.
Pat, my wife doesn't like him either, but she liked the movie.
Happy New Year from Spain!
well done Alex on Best Sci-Fi again, and looking forward to you judging next year
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