Monday, August 4, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy Review, Interstellar Trailer, Marvel Movie Trivia, Music to Write By with MJ Fifield, and Ninja News

I have an interview with Richard P. Hughes for his “What I like about where I live” feature today!

Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy

Best movie of the summer!

The Guardians are part of the Marvel universe, but this felt more like Indiana Jones meets Serenity rather than a superhero film. It harkens back to those fun 80’s movies and I sported a big grin for the duration of the film.

The movie hits all the right notes. The action is well paced, the humor spread evenly, and the sentiment shines at the right moments. The five characters come from troubled backgrounds (well, we assume Groot does – he only speaks four words) and grow as they learn to come together as a team.

The banter between the characters is priceless. Think Serenity and Firefly. Each has numerous funny lines and humorous situations. Rocket (the raccoon) pulls off some of the best one-liners. (But the funniest scene involves the interior condition of Peter Quill’s ship. And fortunately, it will go right over kids’ heads.)

They are backed by a great supporting cast. Stan Lee has his cameo, Del Toro returns as The Collector, and even Rob Zombie has a role. And – we finally get to see Thanos!

Overall, it’s one fun and satisfying ride and now my second favorite Marvel film. And from the setup, I predict we will see the Guardians in the third Avengers film.

Highly Recommended!

Music To Write By

Please welcome the awesome MJ Fifield!

I like creating playlists for my WIPs. I know I’m getting serious about a WIP when I start compiling a playlist for it. But I have one playlist that isn’t WIP-specific. It’s called “Mood Music” and when people have seen that particular CD lying around, their minds immediately go somewhere they shouldn’t.

It’s not that kind of mood music. What it is is instrumental music in which I get lost, melodies that make me see and feel my characters. It’s what I listen to when I need to find that deep, often elusive, writing zone.

Today, I thought I would share with you some of the soundtracks which help me do that.

The Lord of the Rings (composed by Howard Shore)—Sweeping and epic, and everything a fantasy soundtrack should be. From the very first track to the last, this is perfect music to get me in the mindset to write. Standout tracks include: The Bridge of Khazad Dum and The Riders of Rohan.

Battlestar Galactica (composed by Bear McCreary)—Unless Joss Whedon is involved, I’m not much for shows set in space. The Battlestar Galactica reboot became the exception—and the music was part of the reason why. The main title music is gorgeous, but my standout track here is Passacaglia.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (composed by Jeremy Soule)—A video game soundtrack to a game I’ve never played. Fortunately, Pandora Radio introduced it to me, and I knew instantly that I had to have it. Standout track is From Past To Present.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Score (composed by Christophe Beck)—From the television show. I particularly love Slayer’s Elegy, Sacrifice, and The Loneliness of Six. There’s another track not on this collection, though, and that’s The Final Fight by Rob Duncan, which appears in the series finale. That track always helps me with—you guessed it—fight scenes.

Game of Thrones (composed by Ramin Djawadi)—The newest addition to my Mood Music collection. I can’t deny how it makes me feel. Just beautiful, inspirational music. Standout track: Winterfell from season two.

Have any music you like to write to? Please let me know because I’m always on the hunt for new additions to my playlists.

Thanks for having me here today, Alex!
Pick up Effigy on Amazon

Ninja News

Rereleased! Snapshops by Patricia Lynne
Find it at Amazon, Goodreads, and Smashwords

Ali Cross announced the date and location for Indie ReCon Live - Sandy Utah, October 10-11th. Get all the details at Indie ReCon Live

George from Cinemarvellous now has a Facebook Page. If you are on Facebook, please ‘like’ his page.

Shag Carpet Toilet by Al Penwasser now available in print!

Had to share this picture Ellie Garratt posted of Ninja Alex with Beaker!

And don’t forget that Wednesday is Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day!

Interstellar Trailer

In case you missed it last week – an awesome new trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Now I’m getting excited for this film!

Movie trivia

Marvel movies – easy trivia! (All answers are Marvel movies.)

1 – Vampire trilogy

2 – Actor who started in one series and then hit it big with another series

3 – Blind superhero

4 – In X-Men 3, Jean Grey becomes…

5 – Worst rated Marvel film of the past twenty years

Answers on Wednesday!

What music inspires you to write? Any news strike your fancy? Excited for Interstellar? Know the trivia answers? Ready for Wednesday’s IWSG post? And who else saw Guardians of the Galaxy…?

Be sure to visit Richard P. Hughes!


George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, first of all, thank you for promoting my Facebook page. I sincerely appreciate it, and I'll be more than happy if your army of readers 'like' it. Or at least some of them. :)

Guardians premiers on Aug 8 here in my country, so I will have to wait for another week to see it, but judging by your (and many others) wonderful review, it is a blast, indeed!

ELAdams said...

I've heard nothing but good things about Guardians of the Galaxy - I'll definitely be watching it!

I like to write to epic music, and the LOTR soundtrack is one of my top choices! I also listen to a lot of video game soundtracks.

Unknown said...

I'll go visit Richard's blog. That movie GOTG looks awesome! I love the Firefly series and movies with humour is always a bonus.
@MJ - I don't listen to music while I write but I'm a fan of soundtracks. One of my favs is from the Mansfield Park movie.
Have a great week, Alex.

TBM said...

Great ideas for music to listen to while writing. I listen to Vivaldi quite a bit while writing. And I almost forgot about Wednesday.

kaykuala said...

Give me humor anytime as an integral ingredient of a movie. If one can sport a grin all through the show then that's for me. And Highly Recommended, sure thing!

Nice to be accompanied with soothing ones to inspire good ideas. The trivia though gets me stumped! Great post Alex!


Optimistic Existentialist said...

I saw the trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy several times this summer so far at the theater and thought "meh". But then I saw the reviews that came out and was shocked. I must see this now!

Liza said...

Well, now that's would I would call a positive review!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

"Guardians" sounds like another good one for my husband and son to see!

Sounds like MJ and I both like lyric-free music to write to.

Love the picture of Beaker with Ninja Alex!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Guardians of the Galaxy sounds good. I'll have to check it out.

I don't write to music but I'll have to check out the Games of Throne music.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Congrats to everyone with releases.

I think you need to run a caption contest for that picture with Ninja Alex and Beaker!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Totally with you on Guardians. Loved it!

MJ's got some great music to listen to. I always find myself checking out a song I'm hearing on Pandora that turns out to be from The Elder Scrolls.

mail4rosey said...

Nice to meet MJ.

I'm glad you liked the movie!

I liked your friend on Facebook.

Have a great week. :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Guardians on my to do list!! I can't listen to music when I write, I get distracted because I like to sing along and dance...
Vampire Trilogy, first that comes to mind is Twilight but there's more than 3.
Blind Superhero- Daredevil (Ben Affleck played him)
Jean Grey becomes---evil?
So many bad movies--I'll pick The Worlds End with Simon Pegg, I fell asleep watching it.

Jo said...

I have obviously got to see Guardians. Sounds really good.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I am definitely going to check out the Game of Thrones soundtrack! I love the music when I watch the show. :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

ediFanoB said...

There is no way out after your review of The Guardians of the Galaxy ... One has to go to cinema. In Germany we have to wait until 28th of August.

I listen to music while I write my posts. But I do it a bit different. I listen to just one song in an infinite loop ....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

George, you're welcome. And you will dig Guardians.

Clarissa, the film is hilarious.

Keith, go!!

Sandra, good idea!

Rosey, he'll appreciate that.

Cathrina, you got one. And all the answers are Marvel films.

Edi, sorry you have to wait so long to see it.

J.L. Campbell said...

Congrats to MJ on Effigy. I find music distracting while writing, but some books need that musical inspiration.

Will visit you later at Patrick's, Alex. Have a great day.

Sarah Foster said...

Not sure if I'll catch Guardians of the Galaxy in the theater but I'd love to see it at some point.

I love MJ's choices for music, especially Buffy and Game of Thrones. Most of the music that inspires me is specific to my WIP.

Jack said...

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy. It was, I think, everything I hoped it would be. And the humor was great. (Points that none of them died.)

So excited to get my hands on MJ's book!

Mason Canyon said...

I've been hearing good things about Guardians of the Galaxy. I like the banter aspect.

MJ, your playlist sounds awesome. I can see how it helps with your writing.

Congrats to everyone in the Ninja News. Looking forward to the trivia answers.

Kyra Lennon said...

I really like listening to the Harry Potter soundtracks when I need music without lyrics! :D

Bish Denham said...

I think that's the longest rave review you've ever written about a movie. I'll be sure to watch it!

As for music. If I listen to it it's going to be without lyrics and low in the background. Smooth jazz or meditation music is what I go for. But mostly it's silence. said...

I'm so glad to see Ken's (Al Penwasser's) book here. It's excellent. Who knew that humorist was such a great author? I did!

Oh, it's IWSG time. Thanks for the reminder, Alex.

Be well.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Guardians was a lot of fun.

I love the LOTR soundtrack but I haven't tried writing to it.

Julie Flanders said...

Based on this trailer I can not wait to see Interstellar. I'm such a McConnaughey fan now thanks to True Detective and this trailer is one of my faves I've ever seen.

Great to see MJ here. :)

Dianne K. Salerni said...

You may have just sold me on Guardians of the Galaxy, especially if we can see it at the new Fork -n-Screen AMC. Our planned vacation to the Poconos seems to have fallen through because we can't find any place to board our dog ... so, if we end up staying home, we'll need some fun things to do.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Seems like a movie that my husband and son will like watching when they get a chance. I find music kind of interferes with the rhythms in my head, but right now Chariots of Fire is what's buzzing round inside it (probably why there's not much writing going on!)
Have a happy week.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I'm off to see Guardians of the Galaxy on Wednesday for #1 son's birthday. I'm so glad the reviews are good!

Stephanie Faris said...

Guardians of the Galaxy must be awesome--my movie-fan cousin and his four kids all went to see it Friday afternoon while visiting Nashville and I saw yesterday that they'd paid to see it AGAIN yesterday afternoon. Five movie tickets aren't cheap--so I figure it must be the movie of the year!

mshatch said...

My brother asked me to go see Guardians next weekend but the poster looked pretty cheesy. Then he made me watch the trailer. Now I can't wait to see it!

Love MJ's music picks :)

The Angry Lurker said...

1 – Vampire trilogy Blade

2 – Actor who started in one series and then hit it big with another series Harrison Ford

3 – Blind superhero Daredevil

4 – In X-Men 3, Jean Grey becomes… Dark Phoenix

5 – Worst rated film of the past twenty years ?

Karen Lange said...

Looks like Monday is off to a great start! Thanks for the news and updates.

Unknown said...

I plan on seeing Guardians of the Galaxy, but it might be till after school starts back up. It sounds like a load of fun!

Juliana Haygert said...

I can't wait to watch The Guardians of the Galaxy! But it'll only be on the 16th :(

Oh, Interstellar looks good!

1 – Blade
2 – Chris Evans
3 – Daredevil
4 – Dark Phoenix
5 – ?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jack, would be a bummer if they died.

Bish, it deserves all the praise.

Robyn, don't miss it.

Dianne, sorry you won't get to visit the Poconos.

Annalisa, you will dig it.

Stephanie, it is that good!

Fran, worst rated Marvel film.

Juliana, you rocked the trivia.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Nice music choices, M. J.! Good stuff to listen to before writing those epic scenes. :)

Stephen Tremp said...

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday. A fun movie for all! Kids want to see it again so we'll go next weekend too.

Me, I prefer silence when writing, but rarely have that luxury. So I've learned to cope regardless of the distractions.

A Beer for the Shower said...

I am so very excited to see Guardians of the Galaxy. That can't come soon enough.

I listen to everything while I write, from hard rock to classical to Indie. Just depends on the scene I'm writing and my mood.

And I'm very, very familiar with the Skyrim soundtrack. Errr, mostly from hours upon hours of playing it (worth it).

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad to hear good things about Guardians. I saw one bad review but it looks like something I'd like.

Murees Dupè said...

Like M.J. I also listen to certain types of music to put me in the right writing mood. The Lord of the Rings score by Howard Shore is genius.

Unknown said...

Watched Guardians-- not expecting to like it, but came away quite entertained!


Pat Hatt said...

The guardians of the galaxy was awesome indeed. Second only to the avengers on my list. I think they'll be in avengers 3 too, but damn that will be jam packed.

I listen to any kind of music, depends on the mood I guess.

X3, Blade 3, That first hulk garbage thing, That funky fantastic four thing they did before the new ones, or the two new fantastic four ones, Spiderman 3, Daredevil, Elektra, that old captain america, those crappy ghost rider movies, that first punisher with lundgren

Jay Noel said...

Can't wait to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Wanted to avoid the huge crowds.
1) Blade
2) Chris Evans (Fantastic 4/Captain America-Avengers)
3) Dare Devil
4) Dark Phoenix
5) Howard the Duck? Or is that more than 20 yrs ago?

Unknown said...

the reviews for Guardians have been it sounds like a must-see!

Kelly Polark said...

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday. Kids loved it. I love when humor is mixed with action. Also love Chris Pratt as a hero! He's so funny on Parks & Recreation.

I didn't realize Rob Zombie was in it!

Also loved Groot!

Kelly Polark said...

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy yesterday. Kids loved it. I love when humor is mixed with action. Also love Chris Pratt as a hero! He's so funny on Parks & Recreation.

I didn't realize Rob Zombie was in it!

Also loved Groot!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephen, I think we're going to see it a second time as well.

Brandon and Bryan, it's an awesome game.

Charles, there's always one sour apple...

Pat, multiple guesses in hopes you'll hit it? And yes, Avengers 3 will be overflowing.

Jay, more than twenty, but a really good guess.

Al Penwasser said...

We went camping this weekend, but when it was pouring we went to the movies and guess which one we saw? Yep. It was a silly movie which made no logical sense. But, I LOVED IT! What hoot. I can't wait for the sequel and see what they do with the Avengers.
And to think we were going to see 'Hercules.'

Loni Townsend said...

So glad to hear that Guardians of the Galaxy is a good movie! My husband hope to go see it sometime in the next few weeks.

I have lots of music that inspires me. Most of it relates back to a particular character personality.

Heather M. Gardner said...


I want to take the husband and son to the drive-in to see this movie! I think it would be so much fun!

I'm so glad you liked it!

Hi, M.J.! Great post! Those are awesome soundtracks! I also like Last of the Mohicans, Legends of the Fall, Braveheart and Harry Potter!
1 – Blade - (Daywalker!)

2 – Chris 'I'm too hot for my own good' Evans. - Johnny Storm vs. Steve Rogers.

3 – Daredevil

4 – Phoenix

5 – I'm guessing any of the Spiderman movies w/ Maguire or Ghost Rider w/ Cage.


Jennifer Hawes said...

You had me at "fun 80's movies" ! I've heard great reviews of Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanks for the IWSG reminder:)

Catherine Stine said...

The Guardians of the Galaxy sounds like a real hoot! I'll add it to my To-be-seen list.

Birgit said...

I want to see this new film because I heard nothing but great things and that it puts a big smile on one's face:) besides I love it that a racoon kicks some ass:)I love the soundtracks you picked for the book as it can see this work...I have to replace my LOTR soundtrack(went to my ex). OK I saw the films but I suck at this quiz. All I can picture is jean grey's red eyes

Angela Brown said...

I'm looking forward to catching Guardians. I heard good things about it before the release and your review certainly carries weight and value with me :-)

When it comes to soundtracks, two come to mind as rather insirational: Star Wars (can't remember the number lol! but it's the one where Qui Gon Gin dies) and I also enjoy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Explaining it with words is diffucult. But they both transport my mind to a place where words tend to flow from my fingers.

1. Blade, I think
2. Not sure
3. Daredevil
4. Phoenix
5. Who did such a thing and why??

Maurice Mitchell said...

Bear McCreary makes some amazing music MJ! I knew Rocket would have the best one-liners Alex. He's hilarious. I haven't watched it yet, but I'm looking forward to it!

Laura Clipson said...

I use the Lord of the Rings soundtrack when I write - it's amazing. I also love the Buffy soundtrack, particularly the sad music.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I saw Guardians yesterday and it was great! I loved it and we both laughed quite a bit (I also teared up a few times.) Now I have to look to see who Rob Zombie was.

@MJ, I'm so jealous you can do playlists for your writing. I can't write to music and can never figure out songs to go with my stories. =(

@Alex, thanks for giving Snapshots a shoutout. =)

ilima said...

I'm in the middle of watching BSG yet again, and I agree--the music is gorgeous.

I was thrilled to see the new Interstellar trailer this weekend when I went to see Planet of the Apes (finally). And yesterday, I looked up Matt Damon on IMBD because I couldn't think of the name of one of his movies, and I saw Interstellar listed as his latest film...what? I had no idea he was in it. Maybe it's a cameo...or a surprise?

Suze said...

2. R. Downey Jr.? (You said they were easy. :))

Okay, so all weekend long my husband has been pushing for Guardians and I've been like, ugh, babe, no. And I honestly thought to myself, I'm gonna see how Alex reviewed it. I am *slightly* swayed. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kelly, I dig that show! I didn't realize Zombie was in it either until I saw the credits.

Hey Heather! Excellent guesses. You'll find out for sure on Wednesday.

Birgit, that raccoon did indeed kick butt.

Good job, Angela!

Patricia, gives me an excuse to go back and see it again. And you're welcome.

Ilima, he's not in the trailer...

Suze, no guarantees you'll like it, but your husband will dig it.

Unknown said...

I know you like your superhero movies, so this is high praise indeed.

I read Al's book a couple of years ago. 'Twas good.

Bob/Sally said...

I didn't pay much attention to the pre-release hype, because I didn't see how any movie could possibly recapture the comic - and then the trailer blew me away and gave me hope.

I need to get out to see this soon. :)

SK Anthony said...

I can't wait to watch The Guardians of the Galaxy! It really does look awesome.

Congrats to M.J. :)

2– err...
4–Dark Phoenix
5-No idea

Sarah Ahiers said...

i loved GotG so so so much! I cannot wait for the sequel or however many movies they want to make. I laughed so hard (my fav joke was when Drax wasn't paying attention to the conversation because he was "thinking about something else")

Carrie-Anne said...

If I'm writing a contemporary historical, it's nice to listen to music of the era to really get into the mood (e.g., Sixties, Eighties). My most recent book dedication included a shout-out to my wonderful writing soundtrack of The Hollies and The Four Seasons, without which I couldn't have written or edited the book so well.

Karen M. Peterson said...

Guardians of the Galaxy was a lot of fun. I already want to see it again.

Botanist said...

Pretty sure my son will want to watch Guardians, a good excuse for a family night :)

As for music, I hear a lot of people compile playlists to go with their writing but that has never been part of my process. I'm more likely to be inspired by visual images.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Humour is wonderful in any story. There was even humour in The Silence of the Lambs. Good writing is essential to good bantering. Think The Big Bang Theory.

Love MJ's cover. Yay, MJ!!!

Cherie Reich said...

I so want to see Guardians of the Galaxy! Maybe this weekend. Hmm...

DiscConnected said...

1 – Vampire trilogy BLADE

2 – Actor who started in one series and then hit it big with another series CHRIS EVANS-Johnny Storm in FF$ and then Captain America

3 – Blind superhero DAREDEVIL

4 – In X-Men 3, Jean Grey becomes… PHOENIX (DARK PHOENIX?)

5 – Worst rated Marvel film of the past twenty years MAN THING? I could make case for the Ghost Rider sequel, but to my knowledge, Man tHing was direct to video. And Howard The Duck was too long ago...


DiscConnected said...

I mean FF4 (for Fantastic Four)

Larry C

DiscConnected said...

And now seeing that, my acronym makes no sense either way-I should have just spelled out "Fantastic Four."

Oh well.

My memory of the Guardians Of The Galaxy stems from the 70's, and the film has all different characters (based on the commercials.

I remember a character who was from the 20th century who was in some kind of special suit that kept him from turning to dust.

I will eventually see this one, but not sure it will be before it hits Amazon Prime...


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bob, yes you do!

SK, got three!

Excellent, Larry! Close on the last one.

cleemckenzie said...

I just read a rave review of Guardians this morning. Right next to one that panned the latest Woody Allen movie and suggested he give up making any more. Yikes!

Congrats to Patricia and M.J. May their books be enjoyed by many readers.

Sherry Ellis said...

Glad to hear Guardians of the Galaxy was a good movie! It's on my list to see.

EnglishRose said...

Enjoyed Music to Write To as you know I have music on my blog.
Great post Alex.


Empty Nest Insider said...

Great review of Guardians of The Galaxy! Now I really want to see it! Congrats to all of the authors! I'm especially excited for Al Penwasser aka Kenneth Lynch!


T. Powell Coltrin said...

I would like to take kids 11,12,14 to see Guardians. What do you think?

Congrats to all who have successes this week!

Al Diaz said...

3. Daredavil and 4. the phoenix. I rock! hahahaha.

Now I'm going to watch the Guardians of the Galaxy!

Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations (and gratitude) to all the author.
LOVE Ninja Alex and Beaker.

Nate Wilson said...

When I'm writing, my background music must either be instrumental or in another language, so it doesn't influence my wording... or get me singing along and wholly distracted. Thus, MJ's playlist would be the perfect fit. (As an added bonus, maybe I'll listen to those soundtracks when I read her book.)

Sarah Allen said...

Yeah, you hit it right on. Galaxy was such a great movie!! Chris Pratt is fantastic :) I'm getting excited for Interstellar as well!

Sarah Allen
(From Sarah, With Joy)

Morgan said...

Hi Alex! I've missed you!!! I absolutely want to hear the Game of Thrones soundtrack now… I want to FEEL that power that I can tell you feel. Magic. Nothing better than MOVING music. (I'm still holding out for the day we get to hear YOU) ;)

Robin said...

If GOTG are going to become part of The Avengers... I must watch it.

I don't know... X-Men: Wolverine???

Leovi said...

Thanks for your good recommendation for Guardians of the Galaxy! No one better than you to do it!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I heard Guardians was really good. I do write while listening to LoTR soundtrack. Interstellar looks good.

mooderino said...

Guardians is looking pretty cool, will definitely check it out.


Brian Miller said...

nice....waiting for my son to get home and we are going wednesday. so stoked for this movie...

and i heard the rumor on Avengers 3 and GOTG as well...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lee, that's harsh.

Teresa, if they've seen other superhero films, this one should be fine. Violence of course and the one really raunchy joke will go right over their heads.

Nate good idea!

Morgan, working on it!

Robin, you got three, and the last Wolverine film should have been panned that bad.

Brian, I hope it happens. If Thanos is in the third Avengers, it would be a perfect fit.

Andrew Leon said...

My kid's review of Guardians is up today; mine will be up Friday. The short: It was great!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Aw, cute picture. As usual, I haven't seen any of the movies. Been reading a lot though.

The trailer is cool.

Have a great week.

SC Author said...

Yes! I've been waiting for this review! I reallllyyy need to go see the movie.

M.J. Fifield said...

Thanks for hosting me today, Alex!

I saw Guardians over the weekend, and I'm already planning my next viewing. So great!

@Clarissa—Oooh. I bet Mansfield Park has a great soundtrack. I'll have to check that out.

@Elizabeth—I use lyric-free music for serious writing, but my story specific soundtracks are a mix of both.

@Donna—I love the Elder Scrolls. I'm indebted to Pandora for introducing me to it.

@Sarah—I do have story-specific playlists where the music all relates to certain scenes. This playlist is more general.

@Kyra—Harry Potter is great, too. I should put those back into the rotation.

@Beer In the Shower—I've always liked the looks of Skyrim. Maybe I should try playing it sometime.

@Heather—Thanks for the suggestions!

@Mason—Thanks, Mason.

@Patricia—Sometimes, I just hear a song's lyrics and think, "They're talking about my story!" A couple of times, people have suggested a song, telling me it made them think about my book.

@Jack—Thanks, Jack!

Carol Kilgore said...

Glad Guardians is good. I don't have playlists. If I play music while I write, I put Pandora on shuffle. However, the protagonist in my next novel loves Texas music, so Pandora may be overloaded with that for a while. Just sayin' :)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I definitely loved Guardians of the Galaxy. And congratulations to M.J.!

Truedessa said...

It seems Guardians of the Galaxy is getting a lot of good reviews. I enjoyed the trailer to Interstellar it looks like a really good movie. Cute pic with the mini ninja..

J E Oneil said...

I usually like Marvel movies, but for some reason this isn't doing anything for me. Maybe I'll be more up for it when it's out on DVD.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Andrew, we agree on a film - it's a miracle!!

SC, go!

MJ, you are welcome.

Truedessa, thanks for noticing.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

JE: The impact of the 3D is worth seeing GUARDIANS in the theater. MJ: I, like you, have never played ELDER SCROLLS but love the soundtrack to which I also write.

Alex: GUARDIANS was a fun thrill ride for me. Since you leave the theater in a great uplifted mood, I predict that, unlike some of the gloomier comic movies, there will be a lot of repeat viewings of this movie. :-)

Liz A. said...

I think I want to see Guardians of the Galaxy. My father wants to see it, so I may tag along with him.

I prefer to write to silence, but when I'm looking for instrumental music, I'm a fan of Holst, especially his suites for military band.

Shell Flower said...

You had me at "Indiana Jones meets Serenity" for the Guardians of the Galaxy--gotta see it! Effigy has a great cover and an inspiring soundtrack. Not so good on the trivia...see ya Wednesday.

The Armchair Squid said...

Hello to MJ! I think it's interesting that her mood music is all film and TV scores. Music without words is less distracting? That's certainly the case for me.

Christine Rains said...

Indiana Jones meets Firefly? I'm there. This is the one movie I want to see in the theatre this summer. I saw Sharknado 2, so that might have to do me for a while! Great guest post by M.J. I'm one of the few folks that don't put music to my writing. I'm all ready for Wednesday's IWSG. Have a wonderful week! :)

Cathy Keaton said...

I guess I'll have to reconsider seeing GotG after all. It just looks like it misses the mark, but everyone seems to think it's pretty awesome.

I'm excited for Interstellar, too! Looks pretty good.

Kirsten said...

Oh do I ever write to music, so thanks for the new suggestions MJ!
My favorites are E.S. Posthumus, Hybrid, Daft Punk and Moby, although I've used everything from Boys Don't Cry to Van Halen for inspiration. :)
Guardians of the Galaxy sounds awesome!!!

Leigh Covington said...

Is it weird that I love coming here for movie reviews? Even the other day we were thinking of renting a movie and I thought, "Hmm, I should see if Alex has seen it and what he says." LOL. It's true!

Also, excited about GOG movie. Hearing good things. Going to see that one :)

Helena said...

Raiders of the Lost Ark is hands down my favorite movie, so if the lead in Guardians is anything like Indiana Jones, I'm already hooked. How nice to have a flick where the leads aren't superheroes.

MJ--I'm not that great with soundtracks, but recently I caught Chocolat on TV again and realized the soundtrack to that movie is wonderful.

dolorah said...

Congrats to MJ on Effigy :) I'm a "mood music" fan myself. I have several movie and tv series soundtracks to write to. I think my favorite is Howard Shore music though.

As for Guardians of the Galaxy, meh. I haven't seen it, but the previews look like Space Balls and Galaxy Quest, and I just wasn't into either of those.

Have a good week.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I love MJ Fifield music taste. I have all but one (Elder Scrolls)

I'm hoping to see Guardians tomorrow. So looking forward to it.

Michelle Wallace said...

M.J's cover is awesome! Congrats to M.J, Patricia Lynne & Al Penwasser.
I'll check out your interview over at Richard's place-------

Sean McLachlan said...

I'm not a comic book fan, but "Indiana Jones meets Serenity" sounds right up my alley.

G. B. Miller said...

Music that initially on face value won't pull on your heartstrings or make you think "If only..."

Train usually does that to me.

Father Nature's Corner

Mina Burrows said...

I saw guardians of the galaxy too and it was unbelievably good. I had no expectation that it would be and I was so surprised. This is a movie I'd go see in the theater again that's how much I liked it.

Go MJ!


Anonymous said...

Music to work by/inspiration has ti be LOTR followed by Gladiator.. like most soundtracks with an epic feel though.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, I think everyone who's seen it says they want to see it again. Not many movies can do that.

Christine, you need something to wash away the memory of Sharknado 2...

Kirsten, I wrote my third book to Daft Punk.

Leigh, I will keep the reviews coming!

Helena, it's a great film. And Raiders is the best action-adventure movie ever made.

Donna, it's not goofy like those though.

Mina, everyone is saying they want to see it again.

Rusty Carl said...

I had to explain that Jackson Pollock joke to my wife. Had to explain it after I stopped laughing though. That was the best out of nowhere line I think I've ever heard.

And on the trivia - I blew through the first 4 so fast I didn't even bother to think about them. But that last one, man, that's tough. The poorest rated Marvel movie since 94 - I suppose that leaves out the Hasselhoff Nick Fury movie, Dolph Lundgren Punisher movie, AND the early 90's Captain America movie. All of which are so historically bad that they deserve to redefine the term.

But if memory serves, that Troma FF movie was from 94. I don't think it was ever officially released, but I have watched it online. It's clearly the worst movie ever made in the superhero genre. So I'm going with that one.

Unknown said...

Sorry I am late to this party, not that my opinion will make any sort of difference... first Guardians was a film, I still finding Captain the best film for the year up to this point. Guardians was full of heart and humor... I just didn't know what was going on.

MJ, thank you... scores are my life, I understand the style you have chosen to write too... do I know of more, yes... lots. If you would like to email me, I can give you a few... whenever you can or not.

Thank you for the everything everybody!

Anonymous said...

I need to see this movie! Vin Diesel (sorta), Zoe Saldana!? And think Firefly? MUST. SEE. :D

1. ...I'm trying to think really hard on this, but my only thought is Underworld. I feel like that's wrong.

2. Hugh Jackman

3. Daredevil

4. Phoenix!

5. Elektra?

Leovi said...

Good sondtracks be inspired. Usually I listen to music in my photo shoots!

Jennifer Lane said...

Aw, I had an opportunity to see Guardians with my nephews but missed it because I was at the gym. They liked it too.

My favorite music to write by is classical or jazz or movie soundtracks. I can't listen to lyrics and concentrate.

Rhonda Albom said...

I write to music I know so well it doesn't distract me, but blocks out the outside world. I think I might join my daughter to see Guardians of the Galaxy after reading your review. She is a huge Marvel fan. See you Wednesday :)

Tonja Drecker said...

Ha! My daughter wants me to drive her and her friends to the movies this week. While they watch they're drama-girly thing, I now know where I'm headed ;)
Love the picture of ninja w/ M.J.'s book and with Beaker. Cute!

Bossy Betty said...

I love the idea of listening to certain music while writing. I had never thought of the impact it would make! Thanks so much for stopping by Alex and for being such a positive and supportive force in Blogland.

Patsy said...

I prefer writing without music, but I can see that certain songs might help get people into the right frame of mind for a particular scene.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I need silence to write, which isn't easy to get in a house with a demanding cat and a husband who listens to ham radio.

Chrys Fey said...

My nephews are so excited to see Guardians of the Galaxy.

1. Blade
2. Chris Evans (He started in Fantastic Four then later became Captain America.)
3. Daredevil
4. Phoenix
5. No idea on this one.

Mark said...

Glad to read your review of Guardians...I've heard such mixed things. Also the book Effigy sounds cool too, thanks:)

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Alex,

Thanks for the review.... I most definitely have to check this movie out! I need a FUN escape.

Not writing much these days. Just trying to keep up with posts and blogging. Time keeps slipping away. The summer is almost gone and winter approaches. NOOOOO....

Congrats to all the authors with new releases!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rusty, my wife and I were almost on the ground laughing so hard at that joke. Troma did some bad films, didn't they? The answer is a film that had a big theater release though.

Debra, you got three, including the last one!

Rhonda, go and enjoy!

Thank you, Betty!

Chrys, you got four!

Michael, you need to move south soon before winter hits!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I have to see Guardians of the Galaxy after your amazing review. Will hop over to Richard's blog now. And, thanks for the IWSG reminder, it had completely slipped my mind due to work pressures.

M Pax said...

I love the Elder Scrolls, MJ. Haven't upgraded to SKyrim yet. I'm behind the times.

Hope to see Guardians sometime in the future. Have to replace our Blue Ray player 1st. :(

M Pax said...

I love the Elder Scrolls, MJ. Haven't upgraded to SKyrim yet. I'm behind the times.

Hope to see Guardians sometime in the future. Have to replace our Blue Ray player 1st. :(

Dean K Miller said...

Sometimes a song or music theme will inspire me, but mostly I listen to Hearts of Space online music for ambient, spaced-out musical tracks to keep my mind flowing. No vocals so distraction is not present.

But I do have some stories containing musical quantities that are integral to the story...just haven't written them yet.

Ready for IWSG...and the insecurities it always brings up!

S. L. Hennessy said...

FInally got to see it last night. IT WAS AMAZING!!!

Jeff Chapman said...

Love the Beaker Ninja photo. Beaker looks suitably frightened.

Jai Joshi said...

Interstellar looks really good!

Jean Grey becomes the phoenix in X-Men 3.

I like to listen to different film soundtracks when I'm revising. The Braveheart soundtrack is a favorite of mine, as is the LotR's soundtrack and the Star Wars soundtrack. Anything by James Horner and James Newton Howard is usually fantastic.


Sheena-kay Graham said...

1. ?
2. Keanu Reeves (?)
3. Daredevil
4. Phoenix
5. ?

I'm seeing Guardians next week. Heard so many great things and even my mom is thinking of seeing it herself. Tonight I'm going to see Lucy. The Ninja Turtle movie is coming this week but I'm not seeing that. NO! M.J. is everywhere! Congrats girl and I like making playlists too but music breaks my concentration while writing. Dark Paradise sung by Lana Del Rey and Believe sung by The Bravery are two songs I love and have made different playlists. Lord of the Rings has amazing music. Ellie's pic is hilarious! Forgot about Interstellar. It's on my consideration list. Are you planning on seeing The Giver? I hope it's good but I'm on the fence. Anyway have a great day.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Alex. just returned from Richard's post. Was good to learn more about you. I'm there on Sept. 1st. Hope you'll pop by and learn about sunny Queensland, Australia.

Trisha said...

I can relate to MJ's love of playlists. There are songs that still remind me of my high school days when I was getting stuck into my epic fantasy novel (still not finished ...). Anytime I hear those songs, I get inspired again!

GUARDIANS sounds great - if it reminds you of Serenity & Firefly, it must be gold!

1. Underworld?? No wait, Blade?? :)
2. Robert Pattinson?
3. ...some guy from X-men?
4. Phoenix? i dunno...didn't pay enough attn. hehe
5. Green Lantern?

Trisha said...

Oops. Just realised what you actually said about all answers being Marvel-related. ha. Oh well, I'm sure I got some right at least!

Unknown said...

Off to see Guardians of the Galaxy on the weekend. I am really looking forward to it, the reviews have bee awesome!

Unknown said...

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy! It's the best film I've seen so far this year. Interstellar looks interesting too.

For the movie trivia, I'm thinking:

1 – Blade
2 – I'm not sure...
3 – Daredevil
4 – Phoenix
5 – Um, Elektra?

Susan Kane said...

We saw Guardians over the wkend, with no expectations at all. We laughed hard and clapped at the end.

Now when is Interstellar coming out.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Alex. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Guardians of the Galaxy. Glad you enjoyed it. I found MJ Fifield's guest post interesting. CONGRATS to all who have recently released books!

Anonymous said...

oh, man. I totally got to get to the theater to see the GALAXY movie. That looks fantastic!

Suzanne said...

Late to the party, busy week!

I guess Blade, the only vampire series my husband likes, and my least favourite lol!

Got to be honest, the trailer for Interstellar didn't make me want to watch it. But Guardians of the Galaxy - loved all of it! Would def see it again :) x