Monday, May 9, 2016

Reviews - Captain America: Civil War, Rifftrax:Live Time Chaser, and Jungle Book! Plus A to Z Challenge Reflections and Writing Humor with Misha Gericke

Captain America: Civil War Review

The team is split by the Sokovia Accords, which grants the UN control of the Avengers. When the Captain’s pal Bucky is accused of bombing a UN building, the team is split further as Captain moves to protect Bucky and find the real villain.
The idea of accountability and control over powers is a fascinating conflict. (Also explored in Batman v Superman.) It raises a lot of moral and ethical questions on both sides. A lot of it comes down to standing for what you believe is right.
It’s tough to watch them fight, but you know they won’t really kill each other. (Except for Black Panther – he’s out for blood. And he is badass.)
The villain isn’t remarkable, but his cause is just there to drive the conflict between the characters.
The special effects are stunning. You do not want to miss this in 3D! Some of the best effects are the smaller stunts, like Bucky grabbing a moving motorcycle, spinning it in the air, and landing on it while still moving.
Like Winter Soldier, it does have a darker tone. This is offset by some great humor, especially from newcomer Spiderman (as chatty and dorky as the comic books) and of course Ant-Man, who steals almost every scene he’s in.
Visually stunning, this more character-driven story is a must see in the theaters. Highly recommended!

RiffTrax: Live – Time Chasers Review

Thursday, May 5 was RiffTrax night – and no way I’d miss it.

Time Chasers is not a memorable movie. It’s stupid and very bland. The guys did a good job with this sup-par offering of a film.

The film had an early 80’s vibe to it. Sadly, it was made in 1994.

And the time machine was a Cesna airplane. Yes, really! Made from a Commodore-64. No, I’m not making this up! Did I mention the film was done in 1994?

If you missed it, there’s a encore show on May 17 – get your tickets here.

Then prepare for June 28 and the RiffTrax:Live MST3K Reunion Show!

The Jungle Book Review

The animation in this film is beyond stunning. All of the animals and some of the jungle is CGI, but it all blends seamlessly with the real-life Mowgli. Oscar contender for sure. It remains faithful to the source and even manages to insert two songs into the retelling. Overall, I liked the story, but I didn’t love it. I just didn’t connect on that deeper level. However, for the special effects alone, especially in 3D, I highly recommend it.

Bringing the Humor by Misha Gericke

Thanks for having me over, Alex!

I love visiting Alex’s blog on my blog tours, but dang, I invariably find it hard to write a post for him. Why? Because of this little requirement that there has to be some kind of humor in the post.

Humor is a pain in the butt to write. Really. So I’m going to take this request for humor literally and just write about humor. (See what I did there? Huh? Huh? *shifty grin*)

My books usually have something dark in them, mostly because I don’t shy away from characters’ dark sides. Endless deals with two types of immortals, one of which is addicted to killing the other in order to be… well… uhm… more immortal. (Explaining will take up too many words and I only have 300, so read the book. Why yes, that is a shameless plug.)

At the same time, I didn’t want the book to be all doom and gloom. Humor is the perfect solution, except… I suck at writing humorous scenes.

So what’s a girl to do?

My recipe differs from book to book, but in Endless, my recipe went something like this.

Take one smart Alec main character. Add one snarky side-kick. Mix in scenes. Et voila.

The banter is endless. (Pun intentional? Totally. *Big wink.*) You know what else it is? Funny. There’s just something really amusing about having someone who always wants the last word in every conversation, combined with someone who has no limits to what he’s willing to say and when.

But enough about me. How do you bring humor into your writing? If you don’t write, what’s your favorite sort of humor? (Dark and bitter? Slapstick? Farcical?)

(Oh look! I came in at almost exactly three hundred words. These are the last five.)

“First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.
Find it at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Goodreads
Find Misha at blog, Twitter, Google+, and Tumblr

Six Strings

The latest issues of Six Strings is available! You can download it for free.
The world of soundtracks, scores, films, books, and more.
Put together by our very own Jermey Hawkins.

A to Z Challenge Reflections

This was my seventh Challenge and sixth time as co-host.

I want to start by thanking the Challenge Team who are responsible for making it all happen.

I won’t thank everyone, but I do want to say a big thanks to my Ninja Minions. Because without these awesome people, I never wouldn’t kept up: Rhonda Albom, Nicola Burggraf, Nilanjana Bose, Susan Gourley, Mason Canyon, Stephanie Faris, Yolanda Renee, Ann Bennett, Patricia Lynne, Melanie Schultz, Donna McDine, and JA Scott.

I’m going to keep this short. Most want to know how it went with A to Z Lite. While it helped I wasn’t returning a ton of comments every day, there were other issues:

The point of the Challenge is daily posting. Lite is not daily.

I still had to come up with posts for all of the letters. I made them shorter this year, but putting six together for the week made the posts rather long.

Everyone else was still posting daily and I still felt compelled to visit as many as possible…

So, if you were hoping for A to Z Lite next year, it’s just not a feasible option.

Who else saw Civil War this past weekend? Did you see Jungle Book’s amazing animation last month? Catch RiffTrax: Live? Picking up Six Strings? How do you put humor in your writing? And what were your thoughts on the Challenge this year, whether you participated or not…?

And now you can follow the IWSG on Twitter! 
Follow us at TheIWSG


Nicola said...

I'm waiting for Captain America to come to a cinema near us. Can't wait to see it.
It was such fun and a great pleasure to help out with the A to Z Challenge. First time participating as well as first time being a Minion. Thank you for having me on your team Alex.
Congratulations Misha!!
Have a great week!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Good to hear that they are continuing with the humour in the Captain. I don't mind a darker story if it's offset with some lighter moments.

nashvillecats2 said...

I enjoyed your reviews also your Reflection on the A to Z. Another one we got through Alex.

Tim Knight said...

Absolutely loved Civil War and can't wait to see it again on home video (and in 3D!).

Also looking forward to The Jungle Book on blu-ray, but my next cinema trip (fingers crossed) will be X-Men: Apocalypse, which looks quite epic.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Humor is incredibly difficult to write. I'd rather take a stab at writing anything else than humor...but I'm pegged as a humorous mystery writer. The number of times a reader says, "A good read, but not as funny as Body at Book Club..."

Congratulations on meeting the Challenge!

I think it would be especially hard for RiffTrax to do commentary for a bad film.

Sarah Foster said...

Interesting thoughts on A to Z Lite. I think I would miss the daily posting.
Banter is a great way to put humor into your writing, especially when the book is on the serious side. Some of my favorite parts to write are humorous dialogue :)

Mason Canyon said...

We re-watched all the Captain America movies this weekend getting ready to see the new one. Looking forward to it. Congratulations to Misha on her release.

Alex, congrats on doing the lite version of A to Z this year. It was interesting to read, but I would think a bit harder to writer. I was honored to be a Ninja Minion and had a blast, thanks!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Congratulations on your challenge success, I like long posts as you know :) but am okay with shorter ones too. I enjoyed your posts and getting to know Sci-fi facts. I was totally honoured to be on the Minions team and it added an extra dimension to my own experience and appreciation of the A-Z. Thank you for the opportunity once again.

And I enjoyed reading Misha Gericke's tongue-in-cheek take on humour :) Congrats and best wishes for Endless!

kaykuala said...

It is just amazing to think that in the recent past there seems to be an inclination to connect back with old known stories to clinch box office success. There were a few before Star Wars followed by the Batman/Superman thingy. Now currently Captain America, Jungle Book and what have you. So you have it! Rake in a box office sensation with Helen of Troy or Alexander the Great with trappings of sci-fi warfare thrown in?? The back-room boys should know what to do. This rambling is a carry-over from the hectic A to Z Challenge perhaps. The mind-set is still tugging at the mania somewhat created by the wonderful crowd! We still have the Reflections to contend with just yet!


T. Powell Coltrin said...

I love humor. Sometimes it comes out in my writing without me trying maybe because I use humor in my every day life.

I'm not sure I liked the Lite. Although, your theme was sooo good, posting several in one day seemed odd. I felt like I was looking at something forbidden. hahahaha Like unwrapping Christmas presents before I should.


Natalie Aguirre said...

So sorry the challenge lighter didn't work for you. You're so dedicated to blogging that I can see you feeling like you needed to visit people every day. However, that can just be too much. While A-Z sounds like a great way to meet people, maybe the organizers can develop a way to scale it down for everyone so blogging doesn't take over people's lives. Then in May people are so burnt out that they need a break. So yes it's good, but then people disappear for awhile, which isn't always good. Just my thoughts.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

My son was invited to a birthday party at a movie theater where they would see The Jungle Book. He didn't want to go at first, but I told him I'd wait in the lobby in case he wanted to leave. Turned out he enjoyed it. It would have been nice to see too, but I wanted to encourage his independence--and it gave me a chance to write.

Murees Dupè said...

Congratulations on your A-Z win Alex. You did a great job. Congrats to Misha on her new release. I like books with humor. However, I'm not so good at writing it myself:)

mshatch said...

I really want to see Captain America Civil War and Jungle Book but with everything going on I'm not sure it will happen. I may have to wait til it comes out on dvd *sigh*

ediFanoB said...

Even the A to Z lite did not work for you it was worth to try because without you would have missed the experience.

To post every day for a certain time is a real challenge.
I know why I do not take part. I do not want to become exasperated with myself.

My wife and I liked Civil War and it has been a good choice to concentrate more on the characters. And the film works well without 3D effects.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm not sure I want to see the civil ward story. I've told my husband that he can go with our sons. It's not just a matter of them not killing each other for me, it's the death of their relationships.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Good reflections on the Challenge. I missed not having your presence every day. I wouldn't do lite. I like the daily posting challenge.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

I saw Civil War last Wed and loved it, but my husband didn't like the fact Tony and Steve were fighting - I think it just felt all wrong for him :). The AtoZChallenge this year was so much fun - I found so many great blogs.
Tasha's Thinkings

Nick Wilford said...

I tend to veer towards the dark side in humour. I don't go out to write jokes but I appreciate things that are more subtle. It sounds odd that you did Challenge lite. I'm looking forward to participating next year after sitting this one out!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nicola, thank you for helping me!

Lynda, it did have some funny moments.

Tim, yes it does. I might even go see Civil War again.

Elizabeth, the RiffTrax boys had a challenge with that one.

Mason, thanks again! You did a great job.

Nila, thanks again - you rocked as a Minion.

Hank, I'd go see Alexander the Great in science fiction form!

Teresa, that's funny!

Natalie, I know, and that happens every May now, which is sad.

Sandra, you're a great mom.

Marcy, with moving, I understand.

Stephanie Faris said...

I saw something about that "Civil War" movie on someone else's blog. I thought maybe it was "superhero meets history!" Thank you for clarifying that here. As you can see, I'm not much of a superhero fan, which means basically there aren't many movies out these days for me.

I can see how A to Z Lite wouldn't help much. I write all my posts in posting every day isn't an issue. It's visiting all those blogs. Someone said the challenge has just gotten SOOO big. I wasn't there in the beginning, so I don't know. I think if someone's goal were to visit every single blog, that just wouldn't be possible. I visited a lot of blogs and still didn't get around to everyone! I still don't understand the people who publicly posted that they were posting but had no plans to read every blog. I guess we all participate for our own reasons? Seems if you don't want to meet people, it would be a lot of work for nothing, though.

Stephanie Faris said...

(^^^No plans to read "ANY OTHER" blogs, I meant to say.)

Jo said...

I hope to get to see both Captain America and the Jungle Book. Maybe not in a cinema though. Not unless I get brave and go on my own. Why not I say?

I am often told I have a great sense of humour in my blogs but I don't consciously work at it. I just write what I think/feel at the moment. Humour is the hardest thing to achieve anywhere. For instance comedy acting is much harder than drama.

Joanne said...

I am very ready to get out in public and see some movies. Your reviews sound great. (I didn't want to subject my foot to the crowds). Humor - I like a twist in phrasing, quick dialogue, or a wry observation. Hope your May is in high gear and awesome. I enjoyed your A to Z Lite and your hard work!!

Unknown said...

I loved the Jungle Book!!

Will check out all others mentioned :)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I'm sorry I missed out - but needs must sometimes. The Challenge seemed to go well - the usual challenges re blogger and WP - but we need to work round the niggles ...

I love finding new blogs - so roll on next year - when I'm prepared ... but lots of life in between! Cheers and take care - your A-Z Lite was fine and made sense to me for you to do - but I'd rather no others ...

All the best - cheers Hilary

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I'd like to see The Jungle Book, but I'm not a Super Hero fan.
The challenge was fun, but next year I hope to write my posts ahead of time because it was hectic this year.
Have a good week.

Karen Lange said...

Thank for the info, Alex. Nice to see Misha here. I like her solution to adding humor. It's a good plan. :) Have a great week!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Best of sales for Misha! I am going to see CIVIL WAR in just an hour or so. A TO Z was a true challenge for me this year as my blood courier duties amped up at the same time. Whew! You did a great job.

Truedessa said...

Good Morning Alex,

I have never participated in the A to Z as I think it would be too stressful for me. I do give you and the other participants credit for you dedication. You are a driving force in the blogging world and you hold the community together in many ways. I think you "rock" whether rocking that guitar or words.

Humor is important in life. Laughter is the best medicine a healing balm in so many ways.

I want to see The Huntsman: Winter's War. I've read mixed reviews.

The Cynical Sailor said...

Alex - It was interesting to hear your views on A to Z Lite. I think it was great that you tried something different out to see if it would work or not going forward.

Misha - great sense of humor :-)

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi Alex!

I appreciated the opportunity to learn the meaning and origin of sci-fi terms. Most were brand new to me. Congratulations on crossing the A to Z finish line, good buddy!

Sandra Cox said...

Good morning, Alex.

Congrats to Misha. LOVE the cover. This sounds like a great read.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great post by Misha - I find humour in my books really hard. Mostly because my real-life humour is very sarcastic, which doesn't translate well onto the page.

A-Z Lite was an interesting experiment. If you hadn't tried, you wouldn't know.

Glad you got around to seeing Civil War.

H. R. Sinclair said...

I haven't seen the movies yet. It's too bad the Jungle Book was more...whatever.The effect do look great.

Misha--very nice. Humor is hard for me, and I'm not good with deliberate humor.

Elizabeth said...

I'm planning to watch Civil War this week, and I'm glad you recommend it. As for Misha's question, I can sometimes pull off a subtle, sarcastic humor and it usually involves banter between two characters.

I picked up the A to Z version of Six Strings and it was visually stunning. I will go get this issue, Jeremy does an excellent job!

Arlee Bird said...

Maybe I'll see Civil War when it comes to DVD, but then I might forget or I might get the wrong DVD and see a movie about the U.S. Civil War. That actually might be more interesting. Saw Ant-Man a couple weeks ago and loved that one. I think humor helps these far-fetched movies a great deal.

A to Z Lite might be an easy way to go but I can see a lot of posts lacking in substance so the blogger would be cheating themselves out of writing practice and content creation in order to take a shortcut. I've seen a few bloggers try something like this in past years and I wasn't impressed. The biggest Challenge is visiting other blogs and leaving comments--I don't know how to measure how others are doing this, but I'd say a majority of participants fail on this account. You did a great job making the rounds as you always do and facing your own Challenge of maintaining that Linky List. Appreciate all of your efforts, Alex.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

Tonja Drecker said...

I haven't seen Civil War yet, but it's on my list. As to Jungle Book, my older two saw it (separately) and weren't excited. Congrats on another successful year of A-Z!

And congrats, Misha! Love your formula.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Natasha, they've come close to fighting in the Avengers movies though.

Stephanie, exactly! Why post if you aren't going to visit?

Jo, comedy is harder, and most comedians don't get enough credit.

Beverly, that must've been tough without them pre-written.

Roland, enjoy!

Thanks, Truedessa. Yeah, that one didn't get a lot of great reviews.

Elizabeth, yes he does!

Lee, the posts are the easy part - visiting it the real challenge. And if you liked Ant-Man, you'll get a kick out of him in Civil War.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Thanks for the reviews on this films, Alex! I actually think I'd be okay seeing both of them at our local cinema, in Spanish without subtitles, because of the special effects, and I think I could still follow the story well enough. The last film my husband and I saw at the Spanish cinema was Jurassic World.

Charles Gramlich said...

Although I've enjoyed them at some level, I haven't found any really compelling comic book based movies since The Watchmen. I probably will see Civil War eventually.

cleemckenzie said...

I love animation, so I'm looking forward to seeing Jungle Book,

Good job, Misha. You came in at the right word count and with humor, too!

The minions come through again. What a wonderful crew. said...

Lite seems the way to go. Oops, was I supposed to write reflections today? I didn't. Oh, well.

A real life Mowgli would make Jungle Book interesting, though I don't need to see yet another remake.

Happy week, Alex.

Anonymous said...

Hubby and I will probably see Civil War this coming weekend. We didn't feel like dealing with opening weekend crowds.

I can see how Lite wouldn't work for the challenge. Oh well, you tried something new to see how it'd go. Next year you'll be posting every day with the rest of us. >8D

Tamara Narayan said...

I saw the Jungle Book with my kids and we all loved it. The animation is unbelievable, but my daughter and I have one question: Why are all the animals so freakin' huge? It's not a bad thing, necessarily, but curious.

As for A to Z lite, I guess you could post the short entries daily. With an automatic schedule feature, it wouldn't add too much to your workload.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My youngest son is taking me to see Civil War tomorrow for a Mother's Day gift. It's like a two for one gift because I also get that one on one time with him. My children know my husband doesn't have the same taste in movies that I do so they often invite me to go with them now that they're grown.
I try to put some humor in my space operas, usually with a snarky character playing off a too-serious character.

stephen Hayes said...

I enjoyed Jungle Book purely for the stunning visuals. I did think the songs (which sounded very 1950s) were out of place and better suited to the animated version.

A Beer for the Shower said...

Now I'm even more excited to see Captain America today. Make mine 3D!

You know, I would laugh at Time Chasers having all of those outdated things and being made in 1994 but I know hipsters in this current year that would think a Commodore 64 powered Cesna was BRILLIANT.

And I love humor in anything, even novels with a dark tone. Witty banter especially. But I suppose for us that might be self explanatory. Humor is our go-to genre (if anyone couldn't tell).

Andrew Leon said...

Civil War was great and a further demonstration of how little Warner Brothers/DC knows what they're doing.

L.G. Keltner said...

Writing humor can be a challenge, but banter is a good way to mix it in. When you have two well-developed characters that have good interactions, the banter starts to come naturally.

I can see how A to Z Lite could still have its issues. Either way, congratulations on crossing the A to Z finish line!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I definitely thought Captain America: Civil War was the best Captain America to date (Kind of an "Avengers Light"). It was fun to see the young Spiderman too.

Bob/Sally said...

I suspect Civil War and Jungle Book will be my next 2 cinematic adventures - the first for my oldest son, and the second for my youngest.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Congratulations on making it to yet another A-Z finish line, Alex. I admire all of you folks who manage to churn out that many great posts in a month's time.

I haven't seen either of the movies you mentioned, but hope to see "Captain American" later this month.

As for humor, it's a huge plus for me in any of the books I read. As for writing humor, I tend to see the funny side of life, so can find humor in just about any situation. I didn't plan to have any humor at all in the book I'm working on now, because the subject matter is kinda serious, but it's sneaking in, anyway. Not sure if it'll make it past edits, though.

Pat Hatt said...

So great that they finally got spiderman right and he's not some whiny, dark and dreary Batman wannabe. Yeah, I found a to z lite doing it on the other blog was just a tad easy, I don't think the "challenge" part holds true for it. The cat is always up for humor indeed.

J.L. Campbell said...

Now, I want to see the Jungle Book.
Waving at Misha. Yup, humor is not always easy to write.
Hooray on completing the Challenge even if you went lite.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love Captain America. He can do no wrong.

I'm glad I didn't participate in the A to Z. I couldn't begin to keep up with all of the posts.

Christine Rains said...

I can't wait to see Captain America! Thanks for the reviews. Congrats to Misha! I find it difficult to write humor too, but I love reading it. I let my characters do the humorous bits. I'm the quiet, straight man... or woman, as the case is! Thank you for sharing your reflections about doing the Challenge lite. I considered that for next year, but you make a very good point. The Challenge is about doing it every day. Have a great week, Alex!

Julie Dao said...

I'm not into superheroes, but everyone has been raving about Civil War! And I agree with Misha - humor is VERY hard to write sometimes!

Jemi Fraser said...

Humour is tough! I try to include at least one character with a great sense of humour - whether it's sarcasm, wry comments, or silly pranks. Lots of ways to do it, but mine is mostly subtle :)

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Congrats Misha and Alex I'm glad you did try something new with A to Z Challenge this year. When it comes to humor any in my writing would have to be situational since I don't go out of my way to be funny. But in one of my WIPS with a Princess whose betrothed is turned into a rabbit (little bunny rabbit not the big talking kind), he does take a dagger with his teeth and fights a man who says it can't be true and suggests that the princess must be insane. That probably is both humorous (and ridiculous too) and scary in it's own right. People might not see Bambi the same away again. LOL. Just kidding (about Bambi).

Can't wait to see Civil War and Jungle Book was wonderful. The reboot saturation can make it hard to connect with some of these stories as it is still a bit of a rehash. An amazing one but still. I loved it though and like I said in my own post about this movie. Mowgli was great among all the CG.

Birgit said...

I have not seen the films yet but I will. I am hearing good things about Civil War so it should be good. I actually like just about every kind of humour and rarely do I not watch a comedy and laugh unless it truly isn't funny. I enjoyed the A to Z and was so happy with all the people who visited...I am deeply humbled. I have to admit I was getting stressed because i couldn't find the time to keep up but then, I had to come to the fact that if I feel stress then it is no longer fun so I had to just think, if I can't visit now, I will later and hope other people understand.

Carrie-Anne said...

I put a lot of humor into my Atlantic City books, a mix of dark humor, satire, spoof, and the deliberately unrealistic, over the top stuff I'd best compare to the early seasons of Family Guy or American Dad.

A to Z Lite was an interesting experiment. I could see how it might work for some people, but as you mentioned, the whole point of A to Z is daily posting.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Karen, must be wild to hear it in Spanish.

Robyn, you have all week!

Tamara, maybe because Mowgli was so small?

Stephen, it was odd with the songs in there.

Pat, he was just dorky and chatty.

Sheena-kay, plus some of us remember seeing the cartoon version in the theater...

Sherry Ellis said...

Time Chasers does sound a little goofy. Although I'd have to say, a Commodore 64 would bring back a lot of memories!

Your thoughts on the A-Z Challenge lite are interesting. I hope it works out better the traditional way next year.

D.G. Hudson said...

I like to see any of the comic book hero films. I don't know which side I'd choose between Captn America and Ironman, though. Probably whoever is considered the rebel of the two. . .
As for the A to Z, I enjoyed it but had little time to visit many new blogs due to home duties. I also was disappointed when I did visit new bloggers and couldn't find how to comment (that Google + thing) and when they didn't have a post up that corresponded to the letters. . .they just had other things posted. Didn't accumulate many new followers although I followed a few new blogs. I do it for myself though, I love the research. . .

Chemist Ken said...

Civil War was great. My daughter was almost in tears feeling bad for both Tony and Steve. I know we'll be seeing it again real soon.

Chrys Fey said...

I can see how A to Z Lite wouldn't really work. I'd still be visiting everyone posting daily as well. Only if everyone did it would it really work.

I've heard great things about Civil War. I can't wait to see it.

XmasDolly said...

I wish I had time enough to watch all the movies that you do, but I have a tendency to put myself into a movie that I'm watching. I think my brain would blow up if I watched that many. I do want to see that Captain America one. it looks very interesting. I truly want to thank you very much for stopping by from time to time. Lord knows I need it with my blog. I don't know how people do it to get so many people to stop by. :( My friend Danielle has a fantastic following. I've been at this six years I believe next month on my birthday. (shows you what kind of life I have starting a blog on my birthday). :( I really try hard, but nothing seems to work... I dunno maybe I should just give up. It just breaks my heart because I did try hard. Oh well, sorry for boredom... have a great day my friend. hugs

Juneta key said...

I want to see Captain America Civil War and the Jungle Book, but I will probably end up renting them rather than seeing them in the theater.

Congrats all on the new releases.
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

Elephant's Child said...

Love that I have been seeing Endless everywhere. And snark works for me. As does silliness.
Until life got in the way I was enjoying reading the A-Z posts of those I follow. Clever and intriguing. Some year I might play. Perhaps. Maybe.

Tony Laplume said...

Captain America: Civil War is my new favorite Avengers movie.

Karen Peterson said...

Bucky's motorcycle stunt was one of the coolest stunts I have seen in a LONG time!

Mars said...

Great to hear your thoughts on A to Z lite, you were right, that is why I cam back asap to see what you thought and how you found it.

My thought as a reader:
I wasn't as fussed to be honest, I can see the attraction as the poster, but as I was hoping around it made the post longer (even though you kept them super short) and it was confusing to read so many different topics in one go, I think I'd rather see them spread out daily :)

The multiple letter postings I really enjoyed were those that people had to use to catch up if they fell behind a bit and then linked them into one post or sentence, as it was quick to catch up and could be quite clever.

Congrats on trying something new, it's always good to see the team trying out new things!

Mars xx
@TrollbeadBlog from
Curling Stones for Lego People

Susan Kane said...

We went to Cpt. America, and loved it. 3D was the only one available for our time slot, and we are glad we took that option. Character driven plot--excellent.

We always watch shows like Jungle Book with the eyes of a child. They (and we) loved it.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm hoping to watch Civil War next weekend or maybe mid-week this week. I'm glad your review is awesome!

Do I put humor in my writing? Not really. I tried and found some success in my second book, Champion in Flight, by adding a bit of a fantasy trope character - an older, semi-sarcastic mentor. Perren is a guy who deserves his own story and he may get one someday, but he worked well as an anti-courtly Royal Falconer, and he, along with another side character named Cork, had the only moments of humor in a rather serious trilogy. Next time . . . maybe.

I like your humor recipe, Misha! :)

Anonymous said...

I agree that putting so much into one post makes it a bit long. I'd rather see short, focused posts daily than longer posts with many ideas. It was a good experiment, though. Congrats on getting through it!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

DG, you'd be pulling for the Captain then.

Marie, don't give it up! It's not the amount of followers - it's the quality of the ones that do visit that matters.

Tony, it's mine!

Karen, was that not awesome???

Mars, I tried, and now we know it doesn't work.

Susan, aren't you glad that was your only option?

Liz A. said...

That RiffTrax movie sounds vaguely familiar. I may have seen it back in the day...

I'd like to think I can do humor in my writing. I hope my blog posts have it. As for my novels... Yeah, not so much.

Perhaps for an A to Z lite, instead of posting daily, one posts just the letter that corresponds to the day on the days one would post. (So, if only posting on Mondays, this year they'd only post for C, I, O, and U.) Just a thought...

J E Oneil said...

Yes, explored in Batman V Superman, but this time in a watchable movie. I loved it. It's definitely one of the best Marvel movies.

msmariah said...

I really loved the movie. It was great. I knew you would like it! I do wish there would have been more black widow and scarlet witch.

Helena said...

I'm looking forward more to The Jungle Book than any superhero flick--just my own taste, which is so far from perfect. Also, I still enjoy the silly Jungle Book songs from the animated version, and hearing Bill Murray sing "Bare Necessities" might be worth the price of admission.

Cathy Keaton said...

Can't wait to see Cap 3! So excited! Although it sounds like a horror movie if the Avengers have to be controlled by the UN. That's the scariest thing I've ever heard of....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Liz, interesting idea.

JE, yes it is!

MsMariah, we'll see them a lot more in the next Avengers.

Cathy, it does sound scary.

Sean McLachlan said...

Your review of Jungle Book tallies with everything else I've heard--great special effects, ho hum everything else.
Joining IWSG on twitter!

Dean K Miller said...

A tip of the hat in congratulations for all those who participated in the challenge!
The line continues to blur between reality and CGI . . . someday I may find myself to be part of someone's CGI world. And then what will I think?

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Captain America... I loved it, it was great.

It has been an honor, my friend... may the Earth let us be friends for a long time coming...



alexia said...

My son and I saw Captain America on Mother's Day which was ideal for me. He's not my favorite of the Avengers, but it was enjoyable. Definitely an interesting conflict, and Spider Man was great :)

Now the one I'm really waiting for is X-Men Apocalypse, and Dr. Strange later in the year!

Erika Beebe said...

Wow! The reviews were fantastic! I plan to catch Civil War this weekend. I got so busy outside playing in the flowers I ran out of time last weekend. Humor...I like to use contrasting characters to bring it out and let them play on each other as friends would. I wish I could write slap stick...but It's not in my cards. Have a great rest of your week.

kjmckendry said...

So excited for Captain America!! Sorry to hear that A-Z Lite didn't quite work as well as you'd hoped!

Misha, I have a terrible time trying to write humor! That's something I definitely need to work on, but sounds like you've gotten the hang of it! Endless sounds great!

Michelle Wallace said...

So A to Z Lite isn't feasible? I suppose it defeats the purpose of daily posting...

Humor? Can I write humor? Maybe. I'm not sure.
Sometimes people tell me there's a touch of humor in my writing. Maybe it's a fluke.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

When I first started blogging, I wasn't actually trying to be funny. I was just describing what was going on through my completely neurotic mind, and people thought it was funny. So I just kept writing what I thought, so to speak, especially because I really am neurotic; I often say that my mind is one eternal Seinfeld marathon.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Hannah and I shelled out bucks to go see the 3D version of Jungle Book at the local cinema. We did enjoy it very much. I liked the take on the elephants in this one. But the original Baloo the bear is hard to beat! Also, we didn't like King Louie being all oversized. So, overall, I say it was good and fun, but I'll stick with the original animated version.

Barbara, blogging at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Hart Johnson said...

Misha--I think a smart ass or quirky side kick is a perfect solution. I write dark themes too, and I tend to use a similar approach in those books. Or relationships that are fraught with misunderstanding or incompatibility.

Random Musings said...

I didn't hear about A-Z Lite until reading some of the reflections posts. I'm not entirely sure how it worked but I figured it was something like only posting some letters and not others? I say go big or go home ;)
Love this challenge!

Botanist said...

I wondered how the A to Z Lite experiment worked out. Good to try things out & learn from the experience.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the new Captain America. Humor is important for me, both in reading and writing it. Even in the darkest situations, both in real life and fiction, something funny is bound to happen.

ViolaFury said...

I wondered about the Lite experiment as well. I am by nature a bloviator and will run on for days, if allowed; digressions and all, and I always get to the point; it's just takes a while getting there.

That "Time Chasers" was riffed hilariously by the old MST3K crew and has to be one of the most ambitiously bad movies every. I particular loved the scene, when our hero(s) - don't you love the way they just through the singularity theorem right out the damn window, says something like, "Wow, I can't believe I'm breathing the air of Nathan Hale" or whoever it was, and Crow says, "And now History slowly circles the drain and disappears." or words to that effect. I'm laughing just typing this. The idiots with Glocks and semi-automatic rifles against muskets and swords is too much also. The whole thing is ridiculous, but a time-honored favorite of mine. I tried to get tickets in my area for the May 17th showing, but they're all sold out! I did get tix for the live show on 6/28 and am looking forward to that.

I can't wait to see "Civil War" and I must say the critics did the no justice to the public regarding Superman v. Batman. Perry and I watched it on vacation and it was very good; I really don't know what the critics were expecting. I guess if there are no car chases, things blowing up, and general mayhem constantly, it's a bad film. But, the movie brought up very good points and I hope to see some further exploration of them. It is a different twist to what we're used to seeing in Super Hero movies.

Thanks, Alex!

Unknown said...

I did think Civil War was the best of the Marvel films. Yet to see or read any version of The Jungle Book and I need to fix that.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Alex, I'm happy to see you enjoyed Civil War so much. To me it was the near perfect superhero movie -- almost no flaws, and too much of awesomeness. :)

The Jungle Book was stunning to look at, and fun to watch, and I thought there was nothing wrong with the story, except that we're too familiar with it. Lol

Misha Gerrick said...


Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks for letting me visit, Alex!

Thanks Nicola!

Lynda, I'm the same. Humor is important when the themes are dark. But I constantly worry that it'll fall flat because I have a weird sense of humor.

Elizabeth, I know what you mean. Right now, I'm writing a romantic comedy type thing, but it has me stumped.

I enjoy writing banter scenes too, Sarah. I'm just not always sure that it's funny.

I'm glad you enjoyed my post, Nilanjana.

Teresa, humor that comes out naturally is the best. I don't like reading/writing humor that feels forced.

Murees, humor is SUCH a difficult thing to write!

Misha Gerrick said...

Nick, I'm the same way. My humor goes very dark, very fast and I like subtlety, but it makes me wonder if sometimes my humorous moments go over my readers' heads.

Jo, I think you take the right approach.

Hi Karen!

Thanks Roland!

I agree Truedessa. Humor makes everything better.

Thanks Ellen!

Misha Gerrick said...

Thanks Sandra!

Annalisa, I feel your pain. I'm also more sarcastic.

I'm the same Southpaw.

Sounds like you and I are the same with our humor, Elizabeth.

Thanks T!

Lee I'm immensely proud of myself to get in at exactly 300 words with humor.

Beer guys, I totally get why you would appreciate witty banter. ;-)

L.G. that's definitely true. The first step is to make the characters seem alive.

Susan, I also love reading good humor in books, but it's so hard to pull off.

Hi Joy!

Christine, I like your approach to writing humor. :-)

Misha Gerrick said...

Crazy hard, Julie.

Jemi that's a good way to do it.

Sheena it sounds like you have a funny story going. ;-)

Birgit that's funny. I usually only cringe when a comedy isn't funny.

Carrie-Anne, sounds like an interesting series.

Thanks, Elephant's Child. :-)

Perren sounds like an interesting character, Tyrean.

Liz, I find it's easier to work humor into my blog posts than into my stories.

Erika, I can't write slapstick either.

Kathryn I was just lucky to have some awesome characters to work with. Right now I'm writing a dystopian and everyone is so serious in there. I don't think I've seen any humor in it.

Michelle, maybe you're a natural. :-)

Neurotic, so the humor just comes without you trying? That must be nice. ;-)

Hart, that's the way to get humor in naturally, I've found.

That's true, Medeia. It's just hard to make it work in writing, I find.

Crystal Collier said...

YES! I saw Captain America, and post-car accident all I kept thinking was, "Yup, that's a broken back. And that. And that. So much for not killing anyone. Let's just permanently paralyze them." LOL.

*Waves at Misha*

I liked the idea of A to Z lite. Too bad it's not so lite, eh?

Julie Flanders said...

Sorry the Lite option didn't work out but I guess it's not a surprise it didn't. Like you said, the Challenge is about daily posting.
Hello and congrats, Misha! Seeing you everywhere. :D

Unknown said...

I wasn't really planning on watching the Jungle Book but now I feel like I need to for the CGI.

Kristin Smith said...

Congrats to Misha! I loved her little humorous post!

Sorry to hear A to Z Lite didn't work out as a feasible option. :(

Loni Townsend said...

I'm looking forward to watching Civil War in a couple of weeks. My husband and I are taking a vacation day to go on a date! *giddy clap* He's already agreed that this would be a good choice to watch.

Fun article, Misha. I like to go with exaggerated characters for my comedy. Characters are so much fun, especially when they are extreme.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

You do more than anyone I know. You're also helping others and coming up with ways to make life better for all writers. Not doing the A-Z Lite theme next year is okay. We'll brainstorm and come up with another idea.

Misha, I wish there were a formula for inserting comedic relief. I write dark fiction too. Luckily, there always seems to be one character who is just sarcastic enough to be funny. I know I've said this before, but your cover is FINE!

Jackie said...

I watched Civil War on Mother's Day with my family. We absolutely LOVED it, and I want to see it again!!! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sean, thanks!

Dean, that just blows my mind...

Jeremy, you're welcome!

Neurotic, that's probably a good thing.

Mary, MST3K did do it years ago and I remember that line! And you're right, critics were too harsh with Batman v Superman. I enjoyed it.

George, maybe that's it.

Misha, you're welcome!

Crystal, it's not.

Mark said...

I'd love to see Civil War...go Team Captain America;)

John Wiswell said...

I'm really looking forward to Civil War. Wanted to see it last weekend, but had bronchial trouble. Hope to get to it next week. It sounds like a blast!

Al Penwasser said...

Just saw Captain America tonight. Great movie! I have to admit, I'd be on Cap's side. And, it may be heresy, but I preferred this Spider-Man to Tobey Maguire's. Plus, now I WANT to see Ant-Man.

Sandra Cox said...

Happy Thursday, Alex. We're heading into the mountains today.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Not planning on seeing jungle book, never interested me.
I hope to see the Cival War film, I hope this weekend. There are still a few Marvel films I want to catch up on. I don't think I saw Winter Soldier or the Age of Ultron. How crazy is that? There may even be a Spiderman film I have not seen yet.
As for minion. I hope I was somewhat effective. I felt like I fell short of my goal. The trip out of town and when the site went crazy made things even harder for me. At first I was a bit confused, but I started to figure it all out. If I'm accepted as a minion next time, I'm sure I can be more effective.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I'm commenting late, sorry. I'm looking forward to seeing "Cap" and I really want to take my grand son to see The Jungle Book. Every time the commercial comes on he's enthralled. He's only 2, but I thought he might like the big screen and the animals. Even if we don't stay to watch the entire movie, it might be interesting to watch his reactions.

Cynthia said...

Actually, I didn't find your A-Z lite posts too long. It was still nice that you got to explore a new method of doing A to Z.

Thanks for visiting my recent Reflections post. I also submitted a survey with additional longer thoughts about certain things.

Lux G. said...

Waah. I skipped the reviews because I still want to watch these without prejudice. Hehe. :)

Anonymous said...

My hubby saw Civil War and is taking one of the kids tomorrow. On Mother's Day we Skyped with our oldest and they talked about that movie for a good twenty minutes - debating topics I'm not geeky enough to understand. ;)

Misha - Congratulations on your book! And you made me chuckle!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I am feeling so bad that the A to Z Lite didn't work out for you. You are so dedicated and committed to blogging, whichever blog I visit I always see your comments and you just don't say "Nice post" (like some bloggers do). You participate in the discussion the blogger has started in the post, by leaving your views in the form of a comment.

On another note, take it easy this month :)

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

I wanted to be in the challenge. That is why I visited you as much as I did.
I understand your opinions on A-Z Lite--well put.
I want to see The Jungle Book so much I will probably go by myself! I read the book a zillion times as a kid, and have seen the movie which was a cartoon a ton of times too.
I put humor in my writing the way a baby laughs: I find something that surprises me and startles me--and it comes naturally.

Michele at Angels Bark said...

I so want to see Jungle Book. It looks like amazing CG and special effects. Plus I have a fondness of the story from when I was a kid.

I can see how the A-Z Lite wasn't as lite as it's expected to be. I thank you for the time you took to leave comments at my blog. I know how busy you are and I appreciated every visit.
I enjoyed all the A-Z Sci-Fi terms. So many of them I didn't know and I found it fascinating to find out when they were first used. Lots of surprises there.

Thanks for all your hard work with the A-Z. You have a big job keeping up with the list.

Michele at Angels Bark

Shadow said...

'Endless' has sparked my interest, happy weekend to you

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Al, I'd be on the Captain's side. And you have to see Ant-Man! It's hilarious.

Jeffrey, you were a big help - no worries!

Cathrina, hope it's not too intense for him.

Rachna, thank you!

Jean, I did enjoy the cartoon version a lot.

Michele, thank you.

Tara Tyler said...

can't wait to see Avengers Civil War! loved ant man and winter soldier - they're getting better (really can't wait for GG2!)
good to hear the other reviews too, wasn't sure...

yay for Misha!

as for a to z - if you want lite, you have to team up and split up the posting! that's what we did this year and it was heavenly!! (i did forget to put our reflections post on the list tho...) it's so big, divide and conquer is a great way to go!

and i like the idea of weekly twitter chats throughout the year!

Kathe W. said...

THANKS FOR BEING SUCH A STALWART FOLLOWER! Your comments meant a lot to me!

Unknown said...

The Avengers have a member whose name is Black Panther? I'm kinda surprised at that, considering the real Black Panthers in the 60s. It does sound like a great premise though.

I totally do what Misha does - I let the supporting characters carry the comedy so I can keep my MCs on track and serious.

Sorry the Lite option didn't work out for you, but all the people I know shoe participated had a great time!

Unknown said...

(That should be "who participated" -- Need more coffee!)

mail4rosey said...

There are a few movies out right now that I want to see. The Jungle Book is one of them!

Fundy Blue said...

Just saying a quick adios, Alex! Sending you hugs, and letting you know my computer is going dark for a while. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Captain America and the Jungle Book are on my list of movies to watch. Congrats to Misha on her book release! I prefer books with humor mixed in. It makes reading that much more enjoyable. In my stories, it's usually the supporting characters that provide the comedy relief. I was interested to hear your take on A to Z Lite. I'm sorry it didn't work out the way you'd hoped. I'm seriously hoping to get back into it next year.

Blogoratti said...

Interesting stuff, Captain America is certainly on my list. Congratulations to Misha. Have a nice weekend, greetings!

Anonymous said...

Civil War and Jungle Book are definitely on our summer list. Looking forward to both. Glad to hear you enjoyed!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tara, that is what I like about posting at the IWSG for the Challenge.

Kathe, back at you!

Lexa, that made me chuckle...

Fundy, stay safe!

Indah Nuria Savitri said...

I have read many good reviews about Captain America. I would love to see it but haven't got a chance till now :(

Toi Thomas said...

I agree with Misha. Writing humor is hard. I managed it for a contemporary romance I wrote, but a lot of it came from sarcasm.
Haven't seen Jungle Book yet, but I want to. Civil War was great. Black Panther was awesome.

Mason T. Matchak said...

I saw Civil War opening weekend, and I loved it. One of my favorite aspects was how, over the course of the movie, it went from an ideals-based conflict to a very, very personal one, and some of those final fight scenes were painful to watch, because we've spent the past eight years getting to know these people and it's hard to watch them hurting each other. >_< I also particularly like how the movie itself never took a side, never said one group was right or one group was wrong. In an interview, the directors said that was a deliberate choice.

As for humor, I don't know if it's something I deliberately shoot for - it tends to just happen, mostly in dialogue or situations. It's something I usually have a pretty easy time with and I've had people tell me they thought my stuff was funny, so I guess it works. ^_^

Leovi said...

Rhonda Albom wonderful !!

Heather M. Gardner said...

I LOVED Civil War.

I still can't choose a side. I can see both of their points of view.

The struggle pulled at me the whole film.

The new characters fit in seamlessly. And yes, Ant Man just rocks.


Gossip_Grl said...

Catching up on some post reading. :) Sorry I am so behind. I've missed the challenge two years in a row now. Maybe I need it as a goal for next year!!!! Congrats for another successful year!!!

Unknown said...

I didn't enjoy Captain America as much as I was hoping to (possibly partly due to the fact that the cinema's ventilation system was malfunctioning and it seriously felt like we were all running out of oxygen inside there), but I loved The Jungle Book. Absolutely incredible animation!

The Happy Whisk said...

Saw it. Loved it. Wearing my old Cap shirt now. True story.

Deniz Bevan said...

Hmm, now that you mention, it does make sense that A to Z Lite wouldn't work so well. It was mostly the way I ended up doing things, writing up 3-4 posts whenever I had a chance and scheduling them to appear each day. And golly, all those comments to catch up on. I wonder if the Lite version could be tweaked some more. You could choose just a handful of letters? Or be the only blogger who posts on Sundays and gets to choose one letter from the previous week? Or would that all get confusing...

Love the idea of banter, Misha! I can't write humour at all, but maybe a smart Alec character I could do...

Rhonda Albom said...

Thanks for the mention Alex, and I was honoured to be one of your minions. When I first read about Lite, I thought it sounded great, but I agree, it didn't really work, and probably didn't save you much time. I am glad it is not the way of the future.