Monday, January 4, 2016

The Force Awakens, Hateful Eight, and Fallout 4 Reviews! Plus Lost and Found Blogfest, Question of the Month, Version Sacrifice, and more.

Star Wars: The Force Awakes Review

It’s made over a billion dollars – is there anyone who hasn’t seen this film yet?
The Force Awakens is a return in form to the franchise. It recaptures all we enjoyed and loved about episodes IV, V, and VI and throws out all we hated about I, II, and III. All of the awful, candy-colored special effects that looked like they belonged in a video game were gone. The ones in place were tight, dirty, wonderful, and looked like they belonged in the universe.
The movie is a lot of fun. The cast was great. It was good to see Han Solo on the screen again.
While the plot might seem familiar, it’s an homage to the original Star Wars. It’s just a solid, entertaining film and one of my favorite of 2015.
Highly recommended!

The Force Awakens will easily be the biggest hit worldwide of 2015, followed by Jurassic World, Furious 7, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Minions. (All of whom have crossed the billion dollar mark.) Disney and Universal made some serious money last year.

The Hateful Eight Review

Quentin Tarantino is a polarizing director. You either dig what he does or you’re put off by it. I’m entertained by his style. I like the way he handles dialogue and the quirkiness of the characters. And this movie has both elements in abundance.
The plot is rather pedestrian. A bounty hunter bringing in someone to hang is trapped in a cabin with strangers. But it’s the way Tarantino tells the story and how he switches around the timing that makes it so much fun.
The cast is excellent – Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Walton Goggins (who just about steals the show), Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Michael Madsen, and Bruce Dern.
Hateful Eight is over the top gory in the second half. But it’s also very entertaining. And at a run time of close to three hours, that’s impressive – I was never bored.
If you’re not a fan of Tarantino, this film will not change your mind. It’s true Tarantino, through and through. There’s definitely some dicey elements.
Highly recommended if you dig Tarantino!

Fallout 4 Review

This is just good, classic video game playing. The transition from 3 to 4 is perfect. Everything is familiar and yet fresh.
The graphics are stunning. The game play is similar to Fallout 3, and since I never wanted that game to end, this is perfect. It’s refreshing to come back to this world. It’s a free-form environment and there’s always something interesting wandering through.
They’ve expanded the game by allowing you to build up your home town as a sanctuary. And you’re always learning something new.
It’s a great game and a must for those who enjoy not just first person shooters but RPG.
Highly recommended!

Version Sacrifice

I’m joining with Shady Del Knight in a new music battle, Version Sacrifice.

My pick today is Dead Souls. Originally done by Joy Division, Nine Inch Nails put a different spin on the song for the soundtrack of The Crow.

Nine Inch Nails

Joy Division

Which version shall we keep and which shall we sacrifice to the great rock gods?

Question of the Month

Hosted by Michael at A Life Examined.

What are some new year’s resolutions you’ve had in the past?

That’s easy – none. Wait, you want more than that?

I don’t make resolutions, but I do set goals, and not necessarily at the beginning of the year. I’m part of a private online group called the Fellowship of the Dragon, and we post goals for each week. That’s kept me on track with those goals.

Probably the closest thing to a resolution I’ve set is one that happens every year. I’m aware that I will be indulging between Thanksgiving and New Year’s and I just let it happen. Then in January, I tighten up and lose those five extra pounds by the end of the month. (And yes, I always succeed. I hate to lose.)

What have been some of the goals you’ve set at the beginning of the year?

Ninja News

Last month I got to judge the Write-Edit-Publish monthly challenge which was to have a science fiction theme. I really enjoyed reading the entries and my top picks are at the Write-Edit-Publish Site. Thanks to Denise and Yolanda for letting me judge!

Don’t forget the Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day is this Wednesday! We are also announcing the winners of the IWSG Anthology Contest, so you don’t want to miss it.

Lost and Found: The Valentine's Edition

From Arlee Bird at Tossing it Out and Guilie Castilol-Oriard at A Quiet Laughter, and co-hosted by Elizabeth Seckman, Yolanda Renee, Denise Covey. and Alex J. Cavanaugh.

Do you remember that special feeling of love found? And who hasn't experienced the emotional experience of love lost? Some of you might have even lost a love only to find that person later for another go around.

Tell your story about love lost or found in our special Valentine's blogfest. Your post can be a short fiction, an essay, poetry, or even a song--let your imagination run free. Any genre is fair game, be it romance, historical fiction, memoir, or even science fiction. After all there are no limitations when it comes to love.

Sign up below and join us February 1!

What did you think of Star Wars? Fan of Tarantino? Hooked on Fallout 4? Which version of the song did you prefer? What resolutions or goals did you make for 2016? And are you joining in on the blogfest?


Rhonda Albom said...

Wow, I am first! I am the one person who didn't see Star Wars. I am not a fan of Tarantino. I haven't played Fallout 4. I preferred the first song, but the second video didn't work - just the music. And, like you, I make weekly goals, but no resolutions.

ediFanoB said...

Fallout 4 is definitely good stuff.
After playing 120 hours I'm still at the beginning of the main quest. I love to discover evry bit and piece. I need more holidays for long play sessions.

My wife and I look forward to see the Hateful 8. It will hit the cinemas in Germany osmetime in January 2016.

Like millions of other people my wife and I went to cinema to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens and to be honest we wre disappointed. We did not want to see the recapture of episodes IV, V and VI. The only thing we enjoyed was the return of Han Solo (we love Harrison Ford)and Chewbacca. We will definitely not go to cinename to see episodes VIII and IX.

Seems episode VII is something for real fans and for first contact with the Star Wars universe.

Arlee Bird said...

Haven't seen the new Star Wars yet. Might or might not, but most likely won't see it in the theater. Never saw the last 3 either though I sold a ton of the mdse when it came out--what a boon for the costume industry as I'm sure it will be again.

For now I'm boycotting Tarantino for his mouthy response about cops. But I wouldn't have gone to see this in the theater anyway. I might see it later on DVD if I remember it.

No resolutions for me either--my philosophy is similar to yours I guess. Getting sick over the holidays kept me from adding any weight. I most likely lost some, but need to check.

I've got a few Joy Division recordings, but I don't remember this song. Not my favorite of what they've done. I think Nine Inch Nails had the better version of this.

Looking forward to the Lost and Found fest. Thanks for joining us in it. Your presence should help a great deal in getting the word out.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

TBM said...

I'm one of the few who hasn't seen Star Wars yet. Maybe I'm the only one.

I enjoy Tarantino, even though he makes me squirm quite a bit. Not sure about the three hour thing though. That's a long time.

Happy New Year!

Truedessa said...

Good Morning Alex,

I have not seen the new Star Wars movie. Perhaps, this weekend I will get there. The theaters are at the malls and they have been busy with shoppers so no thank you.

hmm...Valentine story - I may just have one and it could be good timing.

Have a good day and enjoy your week!

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

I'm one of those weirdos who has never seen one single Star Wars movie simply because I have no interest. But Tarantino is a different story. I am dying to see The Hateful Eight!

Anonymous said...

I just joined the Valentine blogfest - what fun! Now to figure out what to write...fact or fiction. Perhaps a mixture of both?

I'm a big fan of Tarantino films. He's just so over the top. Pulp Fiction is by far my favorite. I can quote so much of that movie. In fact, I need to watch it again. It's been a few months.

I'm a fan of NIN. Or maybe I should say I used to be a fan of NIN. I haven't heard anything from them in years. Don't even know if they have anything new.

Happy New Year!!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I love the smell of burning metal in the mornin'! It was tough for me to decide which of these two great band performances should get my vote. I appreciate the arrangement and musicianship on both. Nine Inch Nails is Mrs. Shady's favorite band and I like them, too, but I vote for Joy Division because the lead vocals conveyed an extra measure of insanity which, in rock, is a very good thing. Thanks for playing Version Sacrifice, good buddy Alex, and happy new year to you!

mshatch said...

I haven't seen the new Star Wars yet but only because the day I was supposed to go all the seats were sold out! Maybe next weekend *sigh*

My brother has Fallout4 and it is definitely way cool. I wish I could play it on my computer.

^.^ said...

OMG ... what an inspiring blog U have here !!! Hello from Alberta, Canada name is cat ... smiles ...

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Haven't seen the new Star Wars and don't know if I will. I'll go if my husband wants to see it. :)

My IWSG post is ready for Wednesday.

Happy New Year, Alex! I hope it's a wonderful one!

Misha Gerrick said...

The Lost & Found Bloghop sounds lovely. I might not have time to put a story together for it, though. :-/

As for sacrificing to the rock gods, do we sacrifice the better or the worse?

Misha Gerrick said...

Also, I hope God blesses you this year!

M.J. Fifield said...

I've actually seen Star Wars twice now, and that's a big deal for me because I don't care for very much of the original trilogy. Han Solo was really about it. But I loved the new movie. Like, I'd go see it a third time.

I think I might have to go with Joy Division here, but it's really close.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, if the film doesn't hit two billion dollars, we'll blame you.

Edi, sorry you were disappointed with Star Wars. Hope Hateful Eight is better for you.

Lee, thanks for inviting me. And I'm not hip on Tarantino as a person. I just try to keep that stuff separate.

TBM, it didn't feel long though.

Truedessa, please join us!

Deb, you'll like it

Elsie, I don't know if Reznor is still recording or not. And be prepared - Hateful Eight is over the top. Glad you're joining us for the blogfest.

Shady, happy to play along!

Marcy, bummer.

Hey, Cat!

Misha, sacrifice the worst!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I haven't seen Star Wars, although I had the chance to go. Wanted to review the storyline to get more out of it!

The Tarantino will be too gritty for me. :)

Happy 2016!

Sarah Foster said...

I really enjoyed Star Wars. Hoping to see The Hateful Eight but may not have time to see it in the theater.
My own Valentine's Day memories make me cringe. But I may be able to come up with a fun post so I'll probably join in.

Jo said...

I think I will be going with a friend to see the Star Wars movie. Only, she doesn't do 3D. Pity. I love 3D.

Not sure about these blogfests.

I didn't play the song clips. Not my cuppa tea.

No resolutions for me either. Haven't done it since I was a kid.

Bish Denham said...

I haven't seen the new Star Wars though I think I'd like to. Not of fan of Tarantino, he's like a modern day Sam Peckinpah on steroids.

Happy New Year, Alex!

Stephanie Faris said...

*Raising hand.* I'm that person who hasn't seen the Star Wars movie yet...and won't, if I can avoid it. I dealt with that stuff in the 90s when I was married before...we had a whole room of our first apartment dedicated to Star Wars, if that tells you anything! If I never see Han Solo again, it won't be too soon! Although I do have a blog post coming up about Carrie Fisher because she rocks!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

For Star Wars, I look forward to seeing how Rey, Finn, and Ben develop over the next two episodes.

Congrats to those with new releases!

My writing goal for 2016 is to publish the next two books in my Season Avatar series and hopefully complete the first draft of the final book.

RaveAir said...

The VII Episode was great, much better than the I-II-III! I enjoy almost every minute of it. But... We got almost nothing new, and I think some of the secrets revealed to soon. I want to watch VIII and IX right now!

I was thinking about buying Fallout 4, but I haven't got enough sparetime to myself (sparetime with my wife and the 3 children of us not included) to play a longer, storybased game. I think I'll be waiting for next seasonal sale on Steam and I'll buy it with 50% of discount.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I'm a Tarantino fan. His work is so artistic that even though I'm not a gore fan I still enjoy his work.

I don't do resolutions either. I set goals too.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - well I join a few others who haven't seen The Force Awakens yet - don't think I will either ... nor the Tarantino one .. far too gory. I must settle and actual write out my goals this week ... and get them accomplished - I like the idea of your group ... Cheers to you and all your merry followers - Hilary

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I'm not a fan or Tarantino but I love Walter Groggins. And I don't do video games. I'm thinking about the blogfest.

Pat Hatt said...

The Force Awakens was waaay better than that prequel crap, besides the obvious redo things in the plot it was a great movie indeed. Think that was the first time I've seen Harrison Ford have fun with a role in a long time. Not sure I can sit 3 hours for Hateful 8 in a theatre, might wait for Netflix. Pfft to resolutions too lol

Cathrina Constantine said...

My son and his new wife came home for a couple of days before Christmas and we went to see Star Wars and I loved it!!!! Big Fan Here!!!

This year I didn't make any new years resolutions. it too late to make one???

Ellie Garratt said...

I've seen Star Wars twice now. I'll see it again while it's still at the cinema. The DVD release isn't until this December. A long time to wait.

I'm a huge fan of Tarantino, I'm just not sure he can pull off a western. It does have a Ennio Morricone score, though. That has to count for something!

Al Diaz said...

I saw Star Wars. I love Star Wars but you know I'm not fan of Save the Cat and there was a bit too much same but different or different but the same in there. I still love Star Wars and will surely see next episode.

Answering your question, yes, still naked swimming required but you still have to see the new Ninja Muse looks! Caterpillar to butterfly, I would say. ;)

Shell Flower said...

Okay, so I'll admit I haven't seen Star Wars yet. I really don't go out to the theaters much. Glad you found some good movies and games over the holidays. And I'll go with the Joy Division original Dead Souls just 'cuz I love, love, love Joy Division (and New Order)! Happy 2016 :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

We went to see Star Wars twice - once for a regular screening with my parents (my dad doesn't like 3D) so it was truly nostalgic (my parents took my to the first one when I was 5.5 years old), and then we went on New Year's Eve for a late night 3D showing. Loved it both times - probably more the second time. :) I'm a happy Star Wars fan now.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I thoroughly enjoyed The Force Awakens, even though I annoyed my daughter by pointing out plot holes on the way home. (Based on some of the chatter online, a few of the things that looked like plot holes might get explained later.) I LOVED Rey. (Who didn't?) It was wonderful to see such an engaging female protagonist. I also loved Finn. (He's the new Han Solo, of course.)

Gail said...

I have never seen a Star Wars movie. Always a Star Trek fan somehow it felt almost sacrilegious to view Star Wars...silly, I know.

I enjoyed The Crow and like Nine Inch Nails and Tarantino. Gore holds little interest to me so I will view his new movie with one eye closed. Oh, no, I am turning into my grandparents!!!!

I makes goals not resolutions. I follow a weekly list and don't fall apart if one doesn't get marked off. I try to focus on the ones that were accomplished. The incomplete go on the next list and sooner or later goals are met.

Always enjoy your posts, Alex, you make me believe I can do more. Thank you.

cleemckenzie said...

I'm one of the few who hasn't seen this newest Star Wars, but I will. I'm just waiting for the lines to go down. The others are on my list.

At to resolutions. I'd rather not make them. They nag at me all year when I do.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I liked the new Star Wars but I didn't love it.

Nine Inch Nails did a much better job with the song.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Hi Alex!
Happy January!
It's been so long. :)

Saw Star Wars. I really did enjoy it. Looked right. Felt right. A few laughs. A few (too many) tears. I FELT it. That's what was missing for me during those other 3.

I'm not a big Tarantino fan, but if it comes across the TV I might watch it just for the cast. :)

Would one have to start playing Fallout at the beginning to understand the game? It sounds fun.

Song vote? Easy. NIN. Always NIN.

Have a great week! Glad we are back at it again!

Debbie D. said...

Happy New Year, Alex! ☺

I'm not a fan of Star Wars, but thanks for the Hateful Eight review. I love Tarantino's movies and plan on seeing it soon. The music is always killer too and I heard the soundtrack was by Ennio Morricone, no less!

"Version Sacrifice": Nine Inch Nails is my sacrificial offering as I prefer the Joy Division rendition. It just sounded better to my ears; not sure why, exactly.

When it comes to holiday indulgences, like you, we enjoy them and then try and lose the weight in January. Some years are more successful than others.

I'll be joining the "Lost and Found" Valentine's Day blogfest too. Sounds like fun. See you there! said...

I haven't seen Star Wars and probably won't. Not that I have anything against it - I just don't do movies. But your review is making me re-think this. Sounds like they created a winner. I haven't heard anything bad about it.
Have a great week, Alex.

Al Penwasser said...

So Star Wars repeated the plot of "A New Hope." BFD! I loved it. Disappointed that we didn't see more of Luke Skywalker, but that's what future movies are for.
I was disappointed, though. I was told Spock died. I didn't see him anywhere.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sarah, do join us!

Jo, bummer you'll miss the 3D.

Bish, that's funny.

Zoltan, Fallout 4 is a big time suck.

Holly, at least you're going into it warned about the gore.

Karen, BB8!

Pat, way, way better.

Catherina, never too late.

Ellie, he did really good for his first western.

Al, look forward to seeing her then!

Dianne, he is! Finn had some great funny lines.

Gail, that made me laugh! And I am a bigger Trek fan as well.

Heather, you nailed it. It felt right. And no, you don't need to play the other games first.

Debbie, glad you can join us!

Robyn, splurge and go.

Tonja Drecker said...

I'm not into goal making at New Year's either, but that 5 pound thing is on my list for January. I just love Christmas cookies too much to say no. As to Star Wars...the flight scenes were amazing.

Nate Wilson said...

I enjoyed the new Star Wars. 'Twas entertaining, with a good sense of humor, even if I was able to predict much of the action. And yeah, I'll be checking out the new Tarantino (once it hits Netflix, anyway).

Resolutions? I don't do resolutions. Goals are too pedestrian for me as well. I make promises, good sir. And don't you forget it.

Charles Gramlich said...

Not reading anything about the Force awakens since I haven't seen it yet. I was interested in The Hateful 8 but from what I"ve been hearing it is so long, and boring at least in part. I don't know if I'll try it.

Mark Koopmans said...

I am that person who didn't see Star Wars... but then again I gave up watching after the third movie (#6?) came out :)

Wow, look at you go pulling Joy Division out of the cobwebs!! I'm a huge New Order fan, so my vote, of course, goes to JD:)

I signed up for the blogfest... and man, it's been awhile since I added my name to a Linky List :)

Happy New Year, by the way :)

Fundy Blue said...

Happy New Year, Alex! Yes, there is someone who hasn't seen "The Force Awakens." That would be me! We're planning to go today at 12:40. I've been longing to see it, but things haven't worked out until today. I don't do resolutions. I like to fly under the radar; don't want to attract the Universe's attention. Take care!

Yolanda Renée said...

I haven't seen Star Wars yet, but I want to, and I do enjoy Tarantino. Although I haven't seen his movie either. He's so quirky and odd - I enjoy that, but not the gore, still, he does it well!

Looking forward to the announcements on Wednesday, and with all that we're already discussing Valentine's Day! Time does move fast! :)

Good to be back in the groove - lots going on and I like it that way!

Happy New Year!

Carrie-Anne said...

I saw Star Wars when my brother and I visited our parents at their new home in South Carolina in December. We all thought it was good, with better writing and characters than the prequels.

I never make resolutions, since I find it too cliché and expected to make resolutions at one specific time of year. Most people don't keep them longterm anyway, as evidenced by the crush of people who suddenly disappear from the gym around March.

Chrys Fey said...

I do go to the movies but I'm excited to see the new Star Wars movie whenever I can.

Setting weekly goals is a good idea, and posting it is a good way to be accountable.

Chrys Fey said...

I do go to the movies but I'm excited to see the new Star Wars movie whenever I can.

Setting weekly goals is a good idea, and posting it is a good way to be accountable.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Al, funny!

Nate, won't forget it.

Charles, I wasn't bored at all.

Mark, feels good to be on a Linky List, doesn't it?

Fundy, enjoy!

Carrie-Anne, many don't even make it until March.

The Angry Lurker said...

Haven't seen Star Wars yet but I am looking forward to Hateful 8!

D.G. Hudson said...

Want to see the new Star Wars film, but not sure when that will happen. I'll join the WEP Romance blogfest, most likely. Hope your holidays were great, Alex!

RaShelle Workman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RaShelle Workman said...

Hey Alex. I agree with all of your thoughts regarding the new STAR WARS. It was such a joy to watch. Cheers to an amazing 2016 for you and yours.


Joanne said...

Happy New Year. I shall be posting my review of Star Wars this week. It was fun. I saw it just cuz it was an "event". Hateful Eight is on my list - Ray wants to see it and we need to carve out the time. I did see Joy - ugh - don't go. My binge for the holiday was Jessica Jones on Netflix - the girl is dark but good.

No resolutions, but I'm approaching a diet/workout for 2016 with teensy goals. Hope I can stick with it - not going cold turkey drastic.

Let's have a great 2016!!!

Karen Peterson said...

Obviously, Star Wars rocked and I loved it. Haven't seen Hateful Eight yet and I do plan to, even though my enthusiasm has waned.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

JJ Abrams lifted the plot of WRATH OF KHAN for INTO DARKNESS. It didn't fly (no pun intended). AWAKENS benefits from the terrible prequels but really?

Using a climax for a 3rd time with the same vulnerability just seemed ... unimaginative. I had other issues with it but I cannot detail them without spoiling the movie for those who haven't seen it.

But it is better than the prequels, I probably just won't be seeing the further episodes. Maybe STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (though I fear it may well be a lifting of the plot of THE DIRTY DOZEN to outer space.)

May 2016 be even better for you than last year! :-)

Elephant's Child said...

Haven't seen the movie yet. Later. Perhaps.
I am super impressed at your organisation skills. Again. I am pretty certain you are one of the world's busiest bloggers.
Still smiling at your 'I hate to lose' comment. Totally contradictory with your goal of shedding pounds. And totally you.

A Beer for the Shower said...

The wife and I are both addicted to Fallout 4. I don't even want to know how many hours each of us has put into that over the holidays. I just love how everywhere you go there's a story to be found, even in an abandoned building. You piece the story together by finding clues to what happened there. So fun. And I'm one of those few who still hasn't seen Star Wars. Next time I go to the theater, though, I really want to see Hateful Eight... then Star Wars.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I confess my sin. I have not seen the new Star Wars and probably won't until it comes out on Netflix. I really want to though. Happy New Year and hope you meet your goals. I don't have any real resolutions either.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Believe it or not, YES I have watched the new Star Wars film. It was good, but I could have done without feeling like it was just another remake, which it essentially was to some degree.
As for the music, I'll go with the 9"nails. More enjoyable for me.
I'll pass on the Lost&Found blogfest this time around. Don't feel like retelling the heart-break story. Unfortunately, I have no positive one to share.

Mark said...

I definitely rocks to see the new Star Wars film, but I still firmly believe the original trilogy is the best:)

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I seldom go to the movies, but my oldest son was visiting from SC, and my son that lives nearby decided to take me to see Star Wars. I'm so glad they did. I loved it. I've decided to see more movies this year. They showed some cute movies due out soon. One I especially liked was about what the pets do when the people are out. Forget the title, but it looks hilarious.
Have a great new year.

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm that one person who hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie. Oh well. Maybe later. I should join the Feb. blog, but romance really isn't my strong point in writing. Then again, maybe I could hit it from the love lost angle. I'll have to think about it. Tarantino? I loved Pulp Fiction back in the day, but I'm more interested in seeing Revenant than The Hateful Eight.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I finally saw Star Wars. We had to go to Canada because the closest one stateside is 70 miles away and a one screen theater. We both loved it and can't wait for the next one.

Hubby got Fallout 4 and didn't like it. I think it was the plot wasn't really impressing him and with all the side stuff he didn't feel like the game was making him want to advance the plot.

SpacerGuy said...

It looks like Star Wars - the Force Awakens is going to take Avatars crown. It does beg the question why didn't the Abrams magic work as well for Star Trek? Into darkness made only $84 million in the US alone and the force has crossed the $600 mark. Mysterious eh?

Cathy Kennedy said...


Thanks for the movie reviews and no I haven't seen the newest Star Wars flick. I will wait to buy the digital version for streaming. I'm delighted it did so well. The trailer looks like great fun. The Hateful Eight trailer looks intriguing, but Tarantino's gruesomeness is a bit over the top putting it mildly. If I watch this movie, then it will be after it's available for streaming.

In Version Sacrifice, I'm gonna give my vote to Joy Division. I think the over all music arrangement resonated well with my listening pleasure, but not enough to say I like it. The song wouldn't be on my playlist.

I hope you and yours have a blessed New Year!

Mary Aalgaard said...

I am one of the few who has not seen the new Star Wars. I know. I'm surprised, too. The boys saw it and liked it. Q.T. has many big hits. I'm not a fan of too much violence, but I did like Pulp Fiction for the storytelling. I might watch that movie at home so I can use the rest room during the gory parts!

J E Oneil said...

Star Wars was such a great movie. I might have to go see it again. Your way of keeping up with goals also sounds like a great idea. Happy 2016!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I loved Star Wars too! And can't wait to see The Hateful Eight asap. Did you ever see Kingsman? It had a great Tarantino vibe, in a truly British way, and Samuel L. Jackson - brilliant!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fran, you'll dig it.

Joanne, I will avoid.

Roland, have to see the next one - Gareth Edwards is directing.

Elephant's Child, that made me chuckle!

Brandon and Bryan, you guys will dig Hateful Eight. And probably get ideas for your blog posts...

Jeffrey, it was a bit of a retelling, but it was done so well.

Beverly, you need to go to more movies. And that one was The Secret Life of Pets.

Tamara, you'll be seeing that one soon!

Spacerguy, that is mysterious. It will take Titanic but Avatar's 2.8 billion will be hard to beat.

Mary, you will spend a lot of the movie in the bathroom...

Annalisa, yes I did!

Jemi Fraser said...

I was SO happy with Star Wars - I thought they did an excellent job recapturing all that was beloved about the originals! Can't wait for the next one ... or to see this one again. Even hubby enjoyed it! :)

dolorah said...

I did love Star Wars, and I am a fan of Tarentino (mostly), but I don't play video games. My son got the free download with the XBox One, and he seems happy with it.

Sacrifice Joy of course (says the glass half empty girl)! But seriously, I did like the Nail's version better, though both had good points.

I don't make resolutions much either (I never can keep the lose weight one so it never gets made), but some goals work out for me. Procrastinate less is always on my list, and too hard not to break. That's how I missed the submission date for the Anthology. Ah well, there will be another time.

The blogfest sounds intriguing. I signed up, and hopefully will get something written. Something short . . .

Happy New Year Alex.

Janie Junebug said...

I won't see Star Wars. I saw the original three. My daughter has seen the others and told me they're not worth watching. But she goes to see them anyway. I am a Tarantino fan. Your blogfest sounds like fun, but I can't take on any more responsibilities. Besides, I think almost everyone in the world knows about the love I found with Willy Dunne Wooters.


Cindy said...

Some people complained that The Force Awakens wasn't original, but it didn't matter to me. It was a blend of the old and new, and I loved it.

Andrew Leon said...

Tarantino doesn't do it for me. I'll probably see it, but it will most likely be on DVD.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Of course we saw Star Wars! And you're right...the plot was extremely familiar, though I shall say that carefully because if I sound like I'm dogging the movie I get the full ire of the men in my family.

I also saw the Hateful 8. My movie junkie son insisted we drive two hours to Homestead, PA so he could see it in the 70MM ultra-panavision. Again, I won't say I couldn't really tell the difference between regular-o-vision and ultra. But it was at a cool theater on a huge screen, so it was worth it. I liked the first part of the movie the best. Awesome characters, awesome plot. The second half- still good, but I could pass on the gore.

Anonymous said...

I still haven't seen Star Wars yet, but really want to! Also, wanting to see Hateful 8. My brother got me Fallout 4 for my birthday. I was completely addicted to Fallout 3 and so far it's been the same. It's amazing. I love it! :)

I prefer the Nine Inch Nails song.

I've signed up for the blogfest! Thinking on it now!

Sandra Cox said...

I loved this Star Wars...except for the kill off. I just wasn't ready for that. But you are right it met the standards of the original 3 movies.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, really sorry you missed it.

Jane, the first three episodes were awful, but this one was excellent.

Cindy, exactly!!

Elizabeth, he did go crazy with the gore in the end. I think that even beats Kill Bill for goriness.

Madilyn, Fallout 4 is so addictive!

Sandra, I was expecting someone else...

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Loved Star Wars. The lines in Springfield were so long. We had to stand in a line for over an hour and with Little Man. He liked the movie but the length was probably too long for a five year old mister. AND I think they were too harsh on its rating.

^.^ said...

I do not watch TV ... haven't watched movies in years ... cuz I do not like being infiltrated with foul language and violence ... Love, cat.

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

I haven't seen the latest Star Wars adventure, but it does seem awesome. I saw the original Star Wars version in 1977. I also saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind that year and preferred that movie.

I cannot stand Joy Division and thus Nine Inch Nails!

As for a Valentine's blogfest, thanks but no thanks. Way too painful.

Cheers and have a fantastic 2016, good sir.


Jeremy [Retro] said...

Finally got to see the STAR WARS film... I liked it, for me I loved parts of it and then the great respect to the original trilogy that was represented.. I totally love... love the score to this and the H8ful Eight... great stuff from great and grand composers.


Denise Covey said...

I can't believe a film can rake in so much money when things are supposedly bad in the world. My husband and son went to see it. I saw Joy instead. Nice story. Excited about the Lost and Found and that romantic story you're going to tell Alex!

Birgit said...

I go with Joy Division because, even though there is a repetitiveness there, I can hear more to it than the other. I am not one for this style of music but I did listen to both:) I have not seen either film yet and do want to see both. Star Wars is a must for the theatre. Tarantino probably needs some serious counselling but he is a true original. I am thinking about joining the Valentine's bloghop......thinking:) Happy New Year Mr. Ninja.

T.F. Walsh said...

Still haven't seen Star Wars... maybe soon.

I love most of Tarantino's movies, and I kind of always expect gore from him:) Can't wait to see his new film.

kaykuala said...

My daughter and grandees had gone to see the Star Wars. And they were all rave about it. Tickets been sold out and perhaps a little later. The targets seems a good idea to follow as resolutions fade off and get forgotten as the months go by. Have signed up for the Feb 1st episode!


Liz A. said...

I liked Star Wars. A true return to form. As for Tarantino, I liked Pulp Fiction, but since then he's gotten too gory for me. I think there's room in the universe for both versions of the song. And considering how anti Valentine's Day I am (lifetime singleton), I'm going to stay far away from the blogfest. It doesn't need my bitter.

Donna K. Weaver said...

We really enjoyed Force. We're fans of the original three moves from back when they first released. I was glad I got spoiled. The shocker would have really made me angry if I hadn't been forewarned.

Helena said...

I haven't seen the Star Wars movie yet but I absolutely will see it, and maybe a couple of times. Thanks for warning about the gore in Hateful Eight, which tells me I shouldn't see it. What I did see this weekend and loved was Brooklyn--even men in the audience were sniffling at the end.

I have a few goals in 2016, and since they're realistic I'll probably accomplish them. That'll be a nice feeling.

A splendid 2016 to you, Alex.

Heather R. Holden said...

I don't make resolutions, either. Like you, I much prefer weekly goals. Much less daunting!

And,'re probably going to be horrified to learn that I've never seen a single Star Wars film. (There are heaps of other popular things I've never seen, either. I'm very well-rounded in my pop-culture deficiency. LOL.)

mail4rosey said...

I haven't seen the new Star Wars movie. I may soon, but I haven't yet.

Liza said...

Happy New Year, Alex. I haven't seen the new Star Wars, although the other two members of my household went and loved it.

Leandra Wallace said...

I've not seen Star Wars yet, and only seen bits and pieces of the others. But we do plan on seeing this one, just once it comes out on DVD. I'm looking forward to it! =)

L.G. Keltner said...

My husband and I took our kids to see The Force Awakens, and it was a blast! My goal for 2016 is just to keep writing. That seemed good enough for me.

Looking forward to the blogfest!

LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

I also have not seen the new Star Wars movie. :/

Guilie Castillo said...

*HUGE* Star Wars fan here (not a total geek, but... well, it's a close thing) — and I *loved* Ep. VII. To be honest, I had very low expectations (didn't want to get devastatingly disappointed again), but this really felt like coming home. I cried when the Millennium Falcon comes onscreen :D (No, that wasn't the only time.) They did everything right this time. The only good thing I can say for I, II, and III is that they set the bar down low enough that we could be blown away by the new ones as if it was A New Hope all over again. And no, the "borrowing" didn't bother me at all. It did feel like a tribute, and also organic enough for disbelief to remain suspended.

Haven't seen The Hateful 8 yet... I'm kind of on the fence about Quentin. He's a little like Almodóvar. When they get it right, they get it REALLY right, but when they don't it's... well, embarrassing :D It's a fine line, this game they play between satire and the absurd. Sometimes it works. And sometimes... we end up with From Dusk Till Dawn :D

I actually prefer the Joy Division version. Not sure exactly why, but it sounds more "together" to me. (Is it me?)

Nah, I'm terrible at resolutions. In a different life, back when I was (gainfully or not, that's still up for debate) employed in the corporate world, I was a very goal-oriented, deadline-junkie, über-controlling psycho that had yearly, monthly, weekly, and even daily goals (most of which I achieved). But I was also terribly, terribly unhappy. Now that I've learned to let life happen, to focus on the here and now, I don't achieve nearly as much... But my life has become a source of daily (if disorganized) joy. Still. I do need to get back on track with the writing, so I decided that this year I'd write and submit one short story per month. No matter what. Let's see how that goes :)

So glad you're a part of the Lost & Found hop, Alex! It's going to be great!
Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, I hadn't realised there was a new Tarantino film. It sounds quite intriguing.

Gotta go for the original and vote for Joy Division!

Nilanjana Bose said...

I must be one of the last people to watch the Star Wars film, in a whole different year from when it was released..

No resolutions for me, ditto. Goals also quite vague. More wine, less whine that's all :) More poetry if possible.

Signed up and look forward to the blogfest.

Original version of the song gets my vote.

Happy New Year 2016!

Nicola said...

We went to see Star Wars before Christmas (a matinee before schools broke up so we wouldn't have to endure the noise of popcorn during the film). Thoroughly enjoyed it and totally agree with you on the Han Solo front. Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher were absolutely fab!!

I don't make resolutions but I have plans to take more control of my writing throughout 2016. It's going to be a lot more hard work but I am going to enjoy the ride.

Happy New Year to all!!

Fundy Blue said...

Just popped back to say I LOVED Star Wars! Wow! have a good one!

Sarah Ahiers said...

LOVED Star Wars. Wish I had time to see it again. And am loving Fallout. Wish I had time to play it more.

Michael Abayomi said...

I've seen The Force Awakens at the cinemas twice now, and it was just as mind-blowing the second time around. Loved all the new characters, especially BB-8 and to an extent Kylo Ren. Overall, a solid addition to the series and quite possibly my best of the bunch.

I still haven't seen The Hateful Eight, even though I am a huge Tarantino fan, which I guess is a testament to how hectic things have been these past few days and weeks.

I've seen and played quite a bit of Fallout 4 at my friend's place, and I must say, it is a more than worthy successor to Fallout 3. Definitely see myself sitting down with a copy when things settle down a bit.

Patsy said...

My resolutions are more like goals too. I did quite well writing wise last year, I plan to do a little better this year. (There's room for a lot of improvement, but I'm leaving room to up my game in 2017)

Chemist Ken said...

I've already seen The Force Awakens twice with the family, and I'm sure we'll probably see it again soon. Definitely brought back the feeling of the original movies. In fact, you could almost rename this movie to "Star Wars: Episode IV -- The Reboot."

Sandra Cox said...

Probably won't be seeing 8. Not a big fan of gore.
Sounds like otherwise it had some positives though.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I do like quirky and bizarre (I'm a big fan of the Coen Brothers, especially Fargo), so I'll give The Hateful Eight a try. Thanks, Alex.

alexia said...

Happy New Year, Alex! I LOVED Star Wars. Thank god for JJ Abrams - he saved it for sure. Rey and Finn are so great. I'm a big Tarantino fan. My son and I actually watched Kill Bill 1 and 2 the other night - he's a teen now so I figured I'd indoctrinate him :) Those 2 are probably my fave. I don't love but a couple parts of Pulp Fiction, which is probably blasphemy but oh well. And my son got Fallout 4 for Christmas and has been playing it non-stop since!

alexia said...

And Inglorious Basterds. My second fave.

nashvillecats2 said...

Great post for the New Year Alex, look forward to blogfest in Feb.
Also thanks for your "Help".

Jennie Bailey said...

I couldn't believe how many of my friends missed that it was an homage and whined about how they didn't do something more interesting with the plot than the same old story. I LOVED it. I've seen it twice. <3 Not a huge Tarantino fan, but am a fan of free speech so I went to see Hateful Eight just because groups were telling us not to since Quentin gave a speech at march in New York. Was not a fan of the film, but I do love my free speech so I was glad to support THAT!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gary, oddly enough, when you compare the original versions of both movies, Close Encounters still holds up. That's saying a lot.

Denise, me, romantic?

Birgit, serious counseling - funny!

TF, you will not be disappointed.

Hank, glad you can join us.

Liz, I'm sorry.

Heather, that made me chuckle.

Guilie, you and I feel the same way about the Force Awakens. It was like coming home and being a kid again. And happy to partner with you for the blogfest!

Fundy, knew you would!

Sarah, you and me both.

Michael, allow yourself a lot of spare time for that game.

Patricia, it is quirky!

Alexia, you and your family a geek cool! And Basterds was an awesome film.

Jennie, I'm not a fan of the man either, just his movies. And I thought it was great they made Awakens an homage.

Elizabeth said...

The new Star Wars was excellent! I enjoyed the characters and how they continued the story and I look forward to the next episode :) I'm with you, I avoid resolutions and set goals instead. Sometimes I'll set a few more in January than in other months, but otherwise I enjoy taking steps toward a goal any time of year.

Belle Unruh said...

I don't go to theaters any longer, but my girls and grandchildren went to see Star Wars and loved it. I'll watch it when it is pay-per-view. The one thing I did not like in the prequels was all the CGI. It looked fake. I'm glad to hear this new one is filmed like the old movies.

I don't make resolutions or goals any more. I'm happy with how things are. I hope you have a great new year.

Unknown said...

Oh, Alex, please stop teasing me about Fallout 4! I got FO3 as Christmas present some years ago, and it was instantly one of my favorite games of all time. I've played it for so many hundreds of hours, and wandering the Wasteland has never bored me.


Robin said...

No, I still haven't seen the new Star Wars movie. I've heard that it's just wonderful (and not just from you here). So, I definitely want to see it.

Not a big Quentin T. fan. I probably won't go see The Hateful 8. Or rent it. Or watch it. Ah well.

The blogfest. Since I haven't met my true love yet, I think I'm gonna pass on this one. BUT, you can be sure I'll write that blog once the event happens!

You and I have very different taste in music (as I'm sure you've gleaned by now), but these were both okay. Not something I'd listen to regularly, but alright:) I preferred Joy Division, so put me down for their cover.

Mark Means said...

Being a huge Star Wars fan, I was a bit hesitant about the new movie. All my fears were put to rest, though, after I saw it. Great film and a lot of fun.

While I'm also a Tarantino fan, his current stand on certain social issues doesn't have me wanting to financially support any of his new endeavors.

Hope you had a great holiday!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info and reviews. Past resolutions include getting fit and trimmer, as well as more disciplined at writing. Making more of an effort for lifestyle changes in the long run rather than short term goals I fail at. Happy New Year!

Bevimus said...

I loved Force Awakens, too. Whatever complaints I have about it (and don't get me wrong, I do have some) pale in comparison to the overwhelming sense of relief I feel from it not being the spectacular failure so many predicted. I'm looking forward to the coming films in this franchise- especially Boba Fett's! On the whole I just feel really lucky that the world is getting more of this insanely high quality franchise. (Thanks for your comment, BTW)

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Our family, like almost everyone else, saw Star Wars but, unlike everyone else, we didn't think it wasn't anything to write home about. It was nice to see the old gang and meet the new gang, but we definitely don't feel the need to see it again.

Not a fan of Tarantino so no 8 (even though it is my favorite number) for me.

Happy New Year!

Jennifer Lane said...

I am one of the few who hasn't seen Star Wars yet. Must rectify. But I just saw The Martian at the dollar theater and loved it!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I have learned to set small goals then build up as I go. Nope have not seen the new Star Wars movie yet. I really do want to see The Hateful 8 but it has not reached Jamaica yet. So if I win a free movie pass tomorrow guess it will be the Star Wars movie. Sorry but the only new movie coming out in Jamaica this week is Joy and I can miss that with all due respect. Hopefully my tight budget will be over by February so I can go back to buying tickets. I am looking at you Kung Fu Panda, Zoolander 2 and DeadPool. If not for my restriction I would also go see The Forest. But nay, no movie ticket buying until hopefully the end of January. So cool you got to judge entries Alex and Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Haven't seen Star Wars yet. Mandy and Tony got me a PS4 for Christmas with Fallout 4 and the new Call of Duty game. I am definitely a Fallout addict. Have been since 3. Haven't been able to play much with so much going on, but it's in the plan. Love you, brother and hope you had a Happy New Year!! Xoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I'm also a goal setter. I haven't seen a Star Wars movie yet, but I've been meaning to watch them. I love Tarantino movies.

Tammy Theriault said...

Star Wars...enough said right?! The valentines blog hop sounds fun!

Barelylucid said...

I make a ton of resolutions for the New Year. I don't accomplish all of them, but I figure I accomplish more than I would if I didn't make any.

Congrats on always hitting your five-pound goal! That's impressive.

I never used to like Tarantino until I saw Kill Bill and Deathproof. I loved the strong female characters in those movies, but usually his level of gore and violence is too much for me.

Happy New Year!

Empty Nest Insider said...

I do like Tarantino, but I heard that The Hateful 8 is the goriest of them all. And Kurt Russell's mustache doesn't help. Great review though. Hope you had a wonderful break! Happy New Year, Alex!


Michelle Wallace said...

I can't resist a writing bloghop! All signed up!

I'm not really a resolutions kind of person.
I believe you must get on with know what needs to happen, so just get the job the best of your ability!
Happy New Year to you and Mrs. C!

Roland Clarke said...

I'm yet another that hasn't seen the new Star Wars movie, but then I can never go to a cinema these days. Being in a wheelchair doesn't help, and I hate watching a movie from the front row. So as a committed Star Wars - even play Star Wars: The Old Republic - I will be buying the film as a Blueray and watching it from the couch.

Libby said...

I agree about refocusing. I'm doing the same thing. And I'm going to pass on the Symphony X recommendation to the hubby, he's a guitar guy.

Also, I'm trying to let my bloggy friends know that I've switched sites. You can find me at

Christine Rains said...

I'm the only person who hasn't seen the new Star Wars film. I did see the new Chipmunks movie... at least my son enjoyed it! Thanks for the reviews. My vote is for Nine Inch Nails.

Anonymous said...

I will rent HATEFUL EIGHT when it comes out on DVD, just for Kurt Russell. He's always compelling. Not a big fan of the director or the other actors.

I'm tempted to join the Valentine blogfest...

cleemckenzie said...

More geek stuff. Yes. But then how am I going to make up my to see movie list?

Nicki Elson said...

Hooray! I loved The Force Awakens, too. I saw it a few days after opening, so I'd heard it was done right and got so sentimental and teary during the opening scroll that I almost couldn't read the words!

Diane Burton said...

Happy New Year, Alex. Good luck with short stories & articles. They are definitely quicker than novels.

Saw Star Wars with the Hubs, son & his wife. Mixed feelings. Certainly better than Ep I,II, & III. I'm eager to see where the story is going. Disappointed in the death. Liked seeing the original trio, even though they've gotten old. (Haven't we all???)

Juneta key said...

I was pleasantly thrilled with the new Star Wars, I also received a BB8 for Christmas to add to my collection. I have the first R2D2 robot too, so he will no longer be lonely, lol,
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Unknown said...

I definitely enjoyed Star Wars and I'm interested in The Hateful 8. Some good movies coming out at the moment.

Well done on the yearly weight loss, how are you going this year?

Unknown said...

I'm glad you enjoyed The Force Awakens - because I highly enjoyed it! I'm definitely up to watching it again. Perhaps now, the theaters have quieted down a bit.

Hope you had a wonderful New Years!

Erika Beebe said...

I recently saw the Force Awakens and I loved it very much. I thought it really developed the characters and an understanding of motive. I loved the opening storm trooper bit. And yes, it was nice to see all the old characters return to the screen. I loved it. Every last bit. Goals for the year? Continue to grow as a writer, finish my manuscript toward the first part of the year and begin a new one. I'm not sure about joining the blogfest. I suppose it depends how far I get into my last few chapters this weekend. Happy 2016.

Shadow said...

Resolutions? Easy, none, hee heee hee. I'm a kinda very impulsive person, so 'resolutions' are made all the time, and likewise, I'm a bad loser, and I've managed well in the past. Okay, got it! My New Years Resolution is to maintain my 'win' status....

Shadow said...

....and, pleez place previous comment in your new post *grin* It's been the holidays, I-pad feels like a foreign object still.....

Mina Burrows said...

Happy New Year Alex! I still haven't seen the Force Awakens yet. My husband and the kids have though and they loved it! I have it on my list. Grrrr. Hopefully soon I can.

I signed up for the bloghop. Sounds like fun!

DMS said...

Awesome to get your thoughts on the the Quentin Tarantino movie. I have seen just about all of his movies and I do enjoy the quirky characters. I will have to check out his latest.