Monday, January 9, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars Review, Best of 2016, Huntsman Review, and IWSG Update

Underworld: Blood Wars Review

Selene (Kate Beckinsale) is back and kicking more werewolf ass.
Begins after Selene has sent her daughter into hiding. The werewolf-vampire war is escalating and everyone is after Selene for either her blood or her daughter’s blood. Was it a perfect film that broke new ground? Nope. Did it fully entertain me for ninety minutes, making me forget the world around me? You bet!
Great effects, interesting and fun characters, and lots of blood and carnage. (Want to see a werewolf’s spine ripped from its back? It’s here.) Plus we have Kate in her black leather. What’s not to mindlessly enjoy?
If you’re a fan of the franchise or just into werewolves and vampires fighting, you’ll enjoy it. If you just want to rip a bad film with lots of plot holes, go watch Jupiter Ascending instead.

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Now on NetFlix, this sequel shows young Eric and his love Sara training in Ice Queen Freya’s army, then skips ahead to after the first film as Eric tracks down the missing magic mirror before Freya gets it.
The effects are amazing. They did not skimp on making the movie look great. It also had some humor. All of the dwarves are funny.
It’s an easy film to figure out. Brain power not required. But it is better than the first film. (A lot of that is due to no Kristen Stewart. A pouty Snow White just doesn’t cut it.)
Worth a rental.

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Last week was another amazing IWSG post day. Thanks to all participants and co-hosts for starting off 2017 with a bang!

Please note that my post originally omitted one of the contest winners:

Tyrean Martinson - Of Words and Swords

Sorry, Tyrean! Epic Ninja Fail.

A few things I wanted to mention:

Most important - I need co-hosts next month! Let me know if you can help.

First, if you would like to change your name/title as listed on the IWSG Sign-up List, please let me know! Some of you used your name, some your blog’s name, and some I’m not quite sure about… Please send me an email with your current name and the one you’d like to change it to on the list.

Second, thanks to those of you who go above and beyond with visiting other participants, including those who visit the newbies. They need to know they are in the right place and are encouraged to continue posting.

Third, please everyone check for your blog on the IWSG Sign-up List! I do cull the list every month – miss two months in a row and you are taken off the list. (Unless you contact me ahead of time.) So, some of you are posting but you have not added your name back to the list.

Finally, does anyone else get annoyed with these?
After visiting twenty-five or so Blogger blogs, verification comes up. Every…single…time.
And this one is the worst!
I clicked on all four squares (including the pole) and it was wrong.
The next frame was almost identical with a sign in the same place. I clicked on all four squares again and it was – right!
After over a hundred blogs of this, I was ready to go all Ninja on someone…

New Release

When Ash Rains Down by Cecelia Earl
Those of you who visit Christy and Erica’s blog know that Christy is published under the pen name Cecelia Earl.
Find it on Amazon

The Best of 2016

I’d like to take a moment and highlight what I felt were some of the best (and my favorite) movies, albums, and shows of 2016.
And if you don’t agree…my blog, no bashing! But do let me know what your choices would be.

Top Five Albums

1 – Dream Theater, The Astonishing – Went from least favorite to most favorite DT album in just three listens.
2 – Katatonia, The Fall of Hearts – One of the most moving and beautiful albums I have ever heard.
3 – Devon Townsend Project, Transcendence – Start to finish, this album is full of solid, amazing songs.
4 – Insomnium, Winter’s Gate – One epically long song in seven parts. This is Scandinavian metal at its finest.
5 – Haken, Affinity – A mix of Yes and porcupine Tree, it’s old school and refreshing at the same time.
Honorable Mentions – Killswitch Engage-Incarnate, Fates Warning-Theories of Flight, Metallica-Hardwired…to Self-Destruct, and Chevelle-The North Corridor
(Yes, they are all metal-prog rock bands. My list, my taste in music!)

Top Five Shows

1 – Stranger Things – Everything great about the 80’s wrapped in awesomeness and love. One of the best shows ever created.
2 – RiffTrax:Live – It’s comfort food you share (hysterically) with a theater full of people who get it.
3 – Game of Thrones – Filled with many, many holy crap moments.
4 – Flash – The show bounced back nicely this year.
5 – Better Call Saul – A train wreck you can’t turn away from in the best sense of the word.
Honorable Mentions –  The Night Manager, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and The Goldbergs

Top Five Movies

1 – Captain America: Civil War – The Avengers 2.5. Just a really meaningful, weighty, funny, and action-packed film.
2 – Rogue One – The Star Wars film I’ve always wanted to see as an adult.
3 – Arrival – It put my brain in a blender, set it on puree, and then poured it back into my head.
4 – Batman vs. Superman – I enjoyed the heck out of it!
5 – Deadpool – The funniest and foulest superhero film you will ever see. (Until the sequel comes out.)
Honorable Mentions – Star Trek: Beyond, Dr. Strange, Suicide Squad, and X-Men: Apocalypse

Anyone else see Blood Wars this past weekend? Seen the second Huntsman movie? Enjoy the IWSG posts last week? (Need to change your listing-email me!) And what were your favorite albums, shows, and movies of 2016?


The Angry Lurker said...

Who doesn't like a little Selene or Deadpool shenanigans?

Unknown said...

nice article on hollywood world great!!!

nashvillecats2 said...

Belated congrats to Tyrean, great news and views about Hollywood, I remember Hollywood when Lee took me there when I met up with him.


Annalisa Crawford said...

I really, really want to see Arrival. And I'll have to check out those albums, sound just my cup of tea ;-)

Ah, verification... grrrr

Huntress said...

Deadpool and Civil War the only two shows (movies and tv) that I saw last year. Clearly I need to get out more. Agree on Deadpool!
*peeking out from the rock I crawled under*

The Cynical Sailor said...

Huge congrats to Tyrean! Looking forward to reading her story.

Funny that you mention Blogger picture verification. I mentioned it too in my blog post today. Great minds think alike :-)

Cheers - Ellen

Mason Canyon said...

Congrats to Tyrean and Christy (Cecelia). Looking forward to seeing Underworld. I tried to watch Arrival and couldn't get into it. I think I was in the wrong frame of mind. Definitely going to give it another try.

Cathrina Constantine said...

I feel as if I've been in a whirlwind of activity in the last 3 weeks, and I'm just coming down to Earth. With the Holidays, traveling, having family stay with us from Florida, I'm looking forward to seeing some good movies and reading. And hopefully write a word or two on my new wip.

I always enjoy your movie critiques, Alex. Have a nice week!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I liked 'Better Call Saul,' too! And Arrival was cool to have linguists be heroes. :)

I'm not so fond of Kristen Stewart's acting either...can't imagine her as Snow White.

Truedessa said...

Happy Monday

Off to start a new week of what I shall see. Netflix had a hit with Stranger Things and I cannot wait for season 2. Arrival was a top pick for me as well. It was new and creative, I am waiting for it to come out on Red Box so I can watch it again. I did enjoy The Huntsman Winter War I saw it at the theater and I wasn't disappointed.

So, tell us your Cassa fans what is next in your writing journey? I am hopeful we will see another short story from you!

Off to battle the cold I need my warrior armor today!

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I'd like to see Arrival. Glad you liked Rogue One.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fran, I sure do!

Hey Huntress! Good to hear from you.

Ellen, great minds annoyed by similar things...

Mason, give it another try. It's potential Oscar material.

Elizabeth, she was awful.

Truedessa, if I can ever put together a decent outline...

Dean K Miller said...

Just started watching "Huntsmen" this weekend . . .got interrupted so need to finish. Good to hear another installment is available. A great new year IWSG kick off indeed!

Birgit said...

The last thing I would ever want to see is you going all ninja on someone so I hope I don't have that word verification crap on. I haven't seen the whole movie of any of the Underworld movies but they look like fun. I think Batman vs Superman is getting a bad rap. It's not that bad and Wonder Woman rocks. I loved Deadpool and I want to see him in any Avengers film just to shake things up especially with Ironman. I still must see Rogue One and I so want to see La La Land. I also want to see Arrival since this sounds like an intelligent alien film and not the typical, aliens want to kill us all type of flick.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I just checked. My blog doesn't have the verification. Casey must have turned it off. I just ignore it per your prior advice.

I just saw Rogue with my boyfriend. We didn't like it that much. Glad you did though.

mshatch said...

I adored Stranger Things and can't wait for this season to start!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

When visiting IWSG blogs, I usually start at the bottom of the list first, figuring the newbies are there and need some IWSG love. :)

Totally with you on Stranger Things! Loved. It.

Saw the second Blair Witch movie and Hell or High Water this weekend. Both only okay in my book.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Yay for CA:CW! Adored every minute of it! Glad to see ST Beyond among the honorable mentions too. This sequel deserved more credit than it received.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I've only been able to watch the first part of the first episode of Stranger Things. One of these days I'll make the time for it. Maybe when I retire. lol

kaykuala said...

Underworld looks to be a good bet. Will keep eyes peeled for it. Great to be reminded of the 2016 line-ups. Hank missed many of those on the list. Not on word verification Hank does not think so but certainly not on moderation.


Stephen Tremp said...

Yeah that Blogger verification is the worst. Almost as bad as Jupiter Ascending.

I still haven't seen Arrival I need to do that this week as someone gave us a bunch of free movie tickets for Christmas.

Stephanie Faris said...

I never see verification anymore. I don't know why!!! I do know if I'm guest posting on someone's blog and I try to reply to comments, after so many, it won't let me reply for a while. I guess it thinks I'm a spammer. I ALWAYS visit the new people. That's the best way to pick up new blog readers, y'all!!! This last time, the vast majority of the new people hadn't posted IWSG related, so that was just weird!

Pat Hatt said...

Stranger Things deserves the win indeed. The cat is still on the list. Figured that is what Underworld will be, it I will eventually see. Deadpool would sure be up there on my list. Batman v Superman was good, but that whole cringe worthy Martha is both our mother's name scene and Lex, dropped it a bit for me.

Pat Hatt said...

Oh and yes, HATE seeing that stupid crap. Or pick a shop and then you pick them all and they all keep disappearing and you have to keep picking a new one until it finally stops giving you store fronts.

Toi Thomas said...

I haven't seen any movies lately, but I'm interested in both of these.
I haven't seen Rogue One yet, but I'm surprised to see that you've ranked Civil War higher; it was a really good movie. I could have passed on X-Men Apocalypse, at least I wish I had. Oh well.

Charles Gramlich said...

I always enjoy seeing Kate Beckinsale back in the saddle.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - enjoy your Kate! I'm seeing La La Land on Friday subject to one of us with the dreaded lurghi ...

Re Blogger - I haven't had to put in a Verification code for a while - but usually manage to work round it ... oh yes I'm sure I enter the correct details but it says 'no' ...

I was going to ask you to check around re people attempting to leave a comment and it not taking it ... not sure if the WV was tried or not - as mostly it's not required ... Julie Kemp Pick mentioned she'd tried a few times on my first 2017 post, and same for the 2nd but she eventually posted for that one ...

Strange - but irritating scenarios ... thanks - and cheers to anyone for any answers - Hilary

Christine Rains said...

Great reviews and picks. I've only seen two of your top movies, but thumbs up for all of the TV shows. I also enjoyed Westworld. Have a terrific week!

RYC: Today's Totem release was four of out nine. Yes, I'm crazy. It's a nine book series!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I only watched about the first three episodes of Stranger Things last year. Should really watch the rest. Glad to hear the trailers are true and Underworld: Blood Wars has gone back to the paranormal goodness we all love. IWSG was great this month and reminded me why I fell in love with blogging. It was a delight visiting the blogs on my list and I even ended up adding a few to my blog roll. Would love to come back again later in the year if possible. Sorry about that blogging verification thing. So grateful that doesn't happen to me when I'm in full on blog visit mode. Everyone has a fail somewhere, at least you corrected it Mr. Ninja.

Captain America: Civil War only became my #2 movie of 2016 because of Hell or High Water. Deadpool was a sensational superhero movie and potty mouth. Can't wait for the sequel. I also loved Jungle Book and Zootopia. Wasn't able to go see any movies after August. Drives me batty all that I missed. Will be using some Amazon Gift Cards in the future to catch up. Doing it all legal and supporting the industry. My TV shows of the year include Quantico (ABC but I watched the whole season on Netflix) and Once Upon a Time (ABC and I rewatch episodes on Netflix). Need to catch up with Agents of Shield. At least I started the new season last year so I only need to watch episodes I missed from this season. Thank Goodness! A guilty pleasure I watched recently on Lifetime channel was Stalked by My Doctor. Talk about a crazy pants with a medical license. And the TV movie had a sequel! Just Lifetime fun for those into that sort of thing. Have a great day Alex.

Jo said...

Not seen any of the movies yet, I will do so eventually I hope.

Your music is definitely not my music.

Arlee Bird said...

Haven't seen any of those blogger verification things yet. Looks like some kind of game. I might like it.

Haven't heard any of the albums or seen the films or TV shows except for The Flash. Not a fan of the altered timeline garbage. They keep that up and I'll probably bail on that one before too long.

I've got a post planned regarding that altered timeline scenario, but I don't know when I'll get to it. I've got a theory about it that I think is a good one.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Birgit, doesn't matter if you have it on or not - after so many blogs, it appears regardless. And Deadpool and Iron Man in one film would be priceless.

Marcy, I can't either!

Madeline, appreciate that you do!

George, after watching Beyond again, I liked it even better the second time.

Stephen, go! Get your brains blended.

Stephanie, good point! I did find some newbies who'd posted.

Pat, those drive me crazy. I think street numbers are the worst then.

Toi, they were close, but Civil War was just an edge higher.

Charles, that's part of why I didn't like the third movie - no Kate.

Hilary, that is always frustrating when comments won't take.

Christine, wow!

Sheena-kay, glad you enjoyed co-hosting! Bummer, meant to mention that I need hosts next month. Will add. And S.H.I.E.L.D. really picked up with the addition of Ghost Rider.

Lee, look forward to reading it!

Anonymous said...

I liked this month's IWSG question. I saw a lot of interesting answers.

Joanne said...

you have a thing for Kate Beckinsale...I get it. Huntsman with Emily Blunt was way better. Never heard any of your music, but I'll trust you. Shows - I agree - throw in This is Us please. Movies - good list I'd prob. throw in La La Land, and a few smaller artsy flicks. Your blog - I'm not bashing. And thanks for no verification stuff - I never choose right and prob. miss out on some good blogs. Have a warm week

H. R. Sinclair said...

I haven't seen Blood Wars yet. :( I'm behind a season on Game of Thrones too! Gads, can you believe that!

I stop visiting blogs that have the verification on. :/

Bish Denham said...

Totally enjoyed Arrival! And Dr. Strangelove, too.

Sandra Cox said...

Good morning, Alex.
On the Huntsman: Just the opposite for me. I really enjoyed the first one out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I loved the Captain America movie. He is my favorite superhero. Although I think AntMan stole the show with the airport scene.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I watched all but one of your top 5 movies: Batman vs. Superman. Maybe on DVD someday. I'm sure my son owns it. I'm surprised you don't have a list of top 5 books read.

Just Keepin It Real, Folks! said...

I'm going to torture my husband with Hunstman. He has an unnatural fear of dwarves. Hahaha

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I enjoyed almost all the same movies as you. Huntsman was so much better than the first. I really like Superman vs Batman. Civil War was great and broke my heart a little bit. Loved Stranger Things and GoT. I also go hooked on The 100 for TV shows.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I'm happy to learn that the Kate B film delivered the goods. I love werewolves and vamps especially when they fight. I can't wait for the second season of Stranger Things. Eleven is likely to be Twelve or Thirteen by the time it finally airs. :) I'm enjoying The Flash and working my way toward the current season.

Christine Danek said...

Rouge one is my favorite movie right now.
The man in the high castle is my favorite show. The writing is incredible. It has a scifi element to it.
Hopefully when I get back into the swing of things, I will be doing more IWSG posts.

SpacerGuy said...

All friendlies are welcome to my Sci Fi blog! Maurice over at GeekTwins has disqus and a multi commenting system which is pretty awesome. I'm missed Dr Strange and was kicking myself. All your movie picks rock, Alex. Star Trek Beyond was great but needed real PR so badly - Disneys Star Wars movies always come out top because they have proper marketing, I'll have to watch Rogue One now. said...

That's funny and infuriating, Alex, regarding the signs. Now we must prove we're not robots by being able to get through an inconsistently robotic screening process that tests vision, ability to count, and - especially - patience and persistence. You have to get it correct the first time and try again anyway. What is this world coming to?

Be well, and have a great week.

Unknown said...

I can't wait to see the new Underworld!

Your list: better call my Manly Man watched it and I can't say I was a fan, but I'm girly and I like romance and fantasy more than anything. Though Saul has some funny parts in it.
I want to see Stranger Things...I must have patience LOL

My favorite movie on your list is Deadpool. I also enjoyed Suicide Squad.
I can't really give you any bigger of a run down than this as I don't watch much TV. I'm recently watching Hannibal series with my best friend and I'm watching Grimm with my kidlets. Otherwise I'm work orientated or craft consumed.

Andrew Leon said...

Civil War or Rogue One? That's a hard choice...
I'll have to think about it.

Juneta key said...

I can host in February.

Music--not as up on this, mostly listen to my old faves, classical, rain sounds or in the car variety from rock n roll, country, pop, metal opera, alternative, and others very eclectic

What I watch-TV Shows--most not new released in 2016 but 2nd season--but these are still my top to watch over others and ones I would be sad to see go away. There are move than 5 but these are top 6.
1. Shadowhunters
2. The Magician's
3. Shannara Chronicles
4. Marvel's Flash, Arrow, Shield, DC Legends
5. Lethal Weapon
6. Timeless
Mentions: Nashville, Empire, Chicago Fire & EMed, Blindspot, How To Get Away With Murder, Once, Stitchers, Rosewood, Gotham Murder In The First. The Librarians, Lucifer, Elementary, Shades of Blue, Sleepy Hollow, Grey's Anatomy, Major Crimes, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, Bones, NCI New Orleans, Criminal Minds, Hell on Wheels, BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch, The Voice, The Middle and Last Man Standing

Movies 2016
1. Rogue One
2. Deadpool
3. Ghostbusters
4. Fantastic Beasts
5. Captain America: Civil War
6. Tarzan
Enjoyed X-Men Apocalypse, Pete's Dragon, The Jungle Book, Independence Day, Bad Moms, Central Intelligence, and few I still want to see from 2016 as in Batman vs Superman and others

Netflix Originals--not sure about new releases but made by
1. Bloodlines
2. Legends
3. The Fall
4. Daredevil
5, The Travelers
6.The Crown
7.The Ranch
9.Grace & Frankie
11. Jessica Jones
12. The Fall
13. The Gilmore Girls A year in the life
I have not seen Stranger Things but plan to watch
Watching reruns too like Dexter which I did not see when it was on.

Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

stephen Hayes said...

I agree that "Stranger Things" was surprisingly good, as was "Game of Thrones."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joanne, I do have a thing.

Holly, I only encounter it now after visiting a lot of blogs in one day.

Stacy, too many blogger buddies with books - I'd hate to rank them.

Deb, it will haunt him then...

Shady, you'll appreciate the current season of Flash. And can't wait for season two of Stranger Things.

Christine, love to have you join us.

Spacer Guy, you need to catch both Rogue One and Dr. Strange.

Robyn, it does test my patience by the end of IWSG day. Not to mention chews up a lot of precious time.

Kane, my wife wasn't a fan of Saul, but she did enjoy the episodes she watched.

Juneta, thank you! And like that you carefully considered your list of favorites. You should do a blog post. Just wait until you see Stranger Things. It will jump to the top.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

What could be better than Kate Beckingsale in black leather? Ah, Scarlet Johanssen as Black Widow. :-) I will watch the new UNDERWORLD on DVD.

CIVIL WAR, ROGUE ONE,and DR. STRANGE were great movies. HELL OR HIGH WATER was a happy surprise. I love FLASH, SUPERGIRL, and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW. ARROW is bit too depressing. STRANGER THINGS was my standout favorite TV show of last year. May your New Year only contain happy surprises!

Chrys Fey said...

I hate those verification images. I've noticed that I have to do a couple of those for it to go through, and not because it's wrong but because it just changes.

cleemckenzie said...

Last week's IWSG was great. I enjoyed visiting a lot of the blogs. I'm still good with my listing. One thing I don't have to change this year.

I'm into Stranger Things, but have to take a dose of Disney after a few episodes!

Erika Beebe said...

I love the Huntsman movies! The second one really built the characters and voices and yes, the special effects and all that ice was fantastic. I also saw rogue one! Finally! I loved the big giant octosquid memory eraser. And all the scenes with Vader. Happy Monday!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Alex, I'm available in February. Interesting reaction to Arrival. I'm looking forward to it. Happy January.

J E Oneil said...

I've had a similar verification thing pop up before. Blogger clearly doesn't take people with massive blog rolls into consideration!

Jemi Fraser said...

I really enjoyed Rogue One and the new Star Trek series is doing a good job as well. :)

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the news and insight. Appreciate your time in compiling this for us. Have a great week!

Unknown said...

Woohoo! New movies that you didn't pan! (I'd be happy if I never saw Kristin Stewart in anything again.) I loved your tops list!

Sorry about the verification thing. I'm lucky to have not run into any of them on my "travels."

Congrats to Tyrean for the story and Christy for the new book (great cover!).

Suzanne Furness said...

I haven't seen the picture verification (yet!) does sound quite annoying! I'll check my IWSG . . . I think it's OK! I seem to be a bit behind on my movie watching of late unfortunately.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Roland, I've just never been able to get into Arrow. Maybe that's why.

Joylene, thanks!

JE, no they don't. Darn them.

Lexa, I would also be happy with that.

Carrie-Anne said...

Those new captchas are horrid! I also hate the ones with fuzzy letters and numbers. I have very fuzzy vision in my right eye even with glasses or contacts (due to a scarred cornea), so I often have to click for a new image, or guess incorrectly. There are far better ways to weed out spammers, and if a spammy comment slips through, it's not that hard to mark it as spam and delete it.

Tonja Drecker said...

IWSG is always great :) Can't wait to see the anthology, and I have no idea what movies we'll end up going to see this year. Guess we'll find out!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

My sons took me to see Rogue War for Christmas. I really enjoyed it. Need to go back and catch up on the others. I must check out some of your lists too. Have a great week.

Jeremy [Retro] said...

Short of it, Capt' Civil War... was my favorite. Dream Theater I just got and slowly listening too. I just want to really see Kate in tight leather, lol.

Happy into the new year... sadly BOWIE, gone for one year... the stars still look a little different today.


J.H. Moncrieff said...

No offense, because I know you and lots of other people still have them, but Blogger blogs in general drive me a little nuts because of their tendency to be glitchy and eat my comments.

I know, because I used to have one and people would tell me Blogger had eaten their comments a lot. It's happened to me too.

I much prefer the picture game then the "type in this garbled word or number" version. That one's my biggest pet peeve as far as verification goes.

XmasDolly said...

Well, you surely are the Sci-Fi expert that's for sure... but quick question. Did you understand what Ms. Moncrieff just said... ? I didn't understand a word of it, but it wasn't meant for me anyways. Sorry... Anyway, I know one thing though I've learned if I'm going too or wanting to go see a Sci Fi Movie... I'm coming here first to find out what you think before I waste my time. Did you have a Post that stated anything about Ms. Fischer just wondering. I will say I'm a big huge fan of Debbie Reynolds. So much talent wrapped up in that little body was amazing as far as I'm concerned. She was just the hugest cutie pie.

XmasDolly said...

One more thing, please.... Did you see the Global Awards and did you agree with everything??? Plus about some of the statements that were said. Just curious...

Liz A. said...

OMG, that verification thing! I got slammed with that during A to Z last year. I didn't realize the number was 25. That sounds about right.

Oh, and Jupiter Ascending... I accidentally watched that (had no idea what I was getting into), and by the time I realized what a train wreck it was, I just had to finish it. Not that I expected it to get any better, but I was in. At least I got some good knitting in.

Pam Lazos said...

Love your movie and TV pics, Alex!

Helena said...

Sorry, Alex, the Underworld movies aren't my thing, but as soon as I saw it advertised I thought of you, since I know you have a thing for Kate Beckinsale! (Wish I looked like that in a tight outfit.)

I just saw Arrival yesterday and was most impressed. I knew it was based on an award-winning short story, and like The Martian, which was based on a novel, the literary strength, intelligence and structure shone through. Let's hear it for us writers!

And may you have a wonderful 2017.

dolorah said...

I hate those captchia's where you gotta solve a puzzle to post a comment. Yep, I'm a robot, this droid moves along to the next one.

farawayeyes said...

I almost always enjoy IWSG. Unfortunately, this time I didn't make it around to visit as many blogs as I would like< I've got to get better about that. I usually try to start at the bottom of the list and work my way u, hoping to catch several newbies. Then I go to visit my regular friends. I'll be better in the future. I promise.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Follower of ISWG here - enjoy the site, newsletters, anthology (ies), posts and visit some of the participants.

Verification - ugh!

Rogue One should totally be on any top of 2016 list.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - re comments and WV ... or captcha - just been elsewhere and if the commenter, I guess not knowing otherwise (as it's not necessary) clicks the 'let me know you're not a robot box' - then it can send the comment crazy or doolally ...

So don't click the "I'm not a robot box" .. and all should be well -

yet I get comments through that should hit my email, but appear on the blog without the interim notification ...

Strange old world ... it'd be helpful if it was standard .. cheers Hilary

Sandra Cox said...

My favorite movie of 2016 was Sully. I thought it was outstanding.

And back on the cancer preventative...They don't sell it. It's a natural product from a tree that only grows there. Amazing.

Julie Flanders said...

The Blogger picture thing is a nightmare. I can't believe someone thought that was a good thing to implement.
You have me curious about The Arrival. People at work were just talking about how much they enjoyed it yesterday.

L.G. Keltner said...

Stranger Things definitely makes my list for best shows.

My husband took our boys to see Rogue One a couple weeks ago, and they had a great time. I would have gone too, but someone had to stay home with the baby. Oh well. I will see it eventually.

Congratulations to Tyrean!

erica and christy said...

Alex! Thanks so much for sharing about my book!!!! That was so incredibly amazing of you. :) I'm the WORST at visiting blogs and am working on getting better at it. Time management. I love getting to know all the other bloggers out there. I have a snow day from school today, so here I am!! Agree about Kate and Kristen!! If you need another co-host for Feb, I can give it a go! Then for sure I'll visit everyone on the list! Thanks again, for all you do! Christy

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm finally getting around to watching the first season of Homeland, so that's my favorite at the moment...although The Crown on Netflix is pretty good too.

The Happy Whisk said...

I remember, you have a thing for Kate.

Happy 2017!

M Pax said...

I was readying my IWSG post and noticed I'm no longer on the list, which is OK. Good luck with it all.

No time to see movies lately. Working a lot then I come home and work a lot.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carrie-Anne, you said it.

Jeremy, awesome you picked up Dream Theater!

JH, at least you don't use Disque or Facebook for comments.

Marie, honored you come here first! We lost two great talents that week. Such a shame. I didn't watch. Haven't seen La La Land, but not a fan of musicals and annoyed it won so much. It was cool to see The Night Manager get several awards.

Liz, you're a trooper!

Helena, Arrival was brilliant.

Donna, if only they didn't just continue for the rest of the day...

Faraway, appreciate that you do that.

Nila, thanks!!

Hilary, that is odd.

Sandra, bummer.

Julie, go and enjoy!

LG, someone has to play mom.

Christy, you're welcome! And I do need another host. I will email you very soon.

Hey, Ivy!

Mary, you can always sign up again.

M.J. Fifield said...

I'm so with you on Rogue One. I didn't realize how obsessed with that movie I would become. I missed Arrival when it was in theaters, but I'm trying to avoid all spoilers until I can see it at home.

You've probably filled your co-hosting spots, but if you're somehow still short, let me know. I'd be happy to help (this month, or any other month.)

Sandra Cox said...

'Kate in her black leather'. Ha. You do like your black leather. Grin.

Elise Fallson said...

Agree with a lot of your top 5s, I haven't seen Arrival or Rogue One, but am excited about both. I recently rewatched ET with my kids. I hadn't seen it in years and it's still a good move. Plus, the kids loved it. I love how Stranger Things reminds me of ET with a splash of Goonies. The 80s were awesome.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Sorry I'm late making the rounds. I'm having a lot of misadventures in Trailer Land. My latest, just resolved, involved rabbits. Who knew rabbits liked to chew on insulation around wires, and that if they chewed enough off the wires that connected your thermostat to the furnace, certain wires could touch and the furnace would run, even when it was turned off? Got a little hot in here, literally and metaphorically, until we figured it out.

The amazing and funny handyman, who takes care of so many trailers in this park, was swearing at the rabbits as he pulled out the wires from under the trailer, because he had diverticulitis and really didn't want to elbow crawl way under it. And here I thought he was scared of tarantulas and scorpions ~ which surprised me because he looks and acts a lot like roughnecks on oil rigs I've worked on. Life is never dull and often funny!

I hope you have co-host for February. I would volunteer, but we will be moving out of our trailer and headed to Phoenix on that day. I'm beginning to feel like a gypsy, as we go on The Great House Hunt, aka Where Will We Land in Retirement?

I remain in awe of all that you do for IWSG members! You're one dedicated guy! I had a lot of fun visiting around on Wednesday (when I was flying) and on Thursday (when I was housebound to avoid going out in a snowstorm). It's inspiring and fun to connect with other members, old and new.\

Have a good one!

DMS said...

I do not like those captcha things at all. I feel like I get them wrong and it is frustrating because I am not a computer. I either don't pick all the right ones with signs, or storefronts, or water. I hate when I have to do them over and over!

Have a great week!

klahanie said...

First of all, I am not a robot. Just a paranoid android from Radiohead's album, OK Computer.

Interesting prog rock choices. I know have the urge to go retro and listen to some Uriah Heep, followed by Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Take it easy, Alex.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

MJ, thanks! Either next month or March would be cool.

Sandra, just on Kate. And my wife. If I could convince her to wear it.

Elise, yes! They were similar in feel.

Fundy, sorry about the rabbits! And thank you, appreciate your kind words.

Hey, Gary! Good to hear from you.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I miss being a part of this community. So many movies I have missed. I have so much to say in this comment but I won't. Love coming back to your blog when I have been gone for awhile.

Ellie Garratt said...

Congratulations, Tyrean!

I'm pleased The Goldbergs got an honourable mention. As an 80s child, I love that show.

G. B. Miller said...

I thoroughly detest the word verifies. I can understand the need on the more popular blogs (like Nathan Bransford's) but when you have to do it at lest 3 times with no end in sight, I stop commenting on the blog and go back into lurking mode.

I think I had enough of prog rock for a while. My local college stations did a few monster tributes to Greg Lake when he passed away (like playing Brain Salad Surgery from beginning to end), so a break from that genre will be greatly appreciated.

Father Nature's Corner

Sandra Cox said...

Blogger verification......Huge pain in the hinnie!!!!!!!!!!
Have a great one, Alex:)

John Wiswell said...

I was surprised how many relatively big movies Netflix scored recently. Jungle Book and Civil War? Perhaps the surprise is from how weak their catalog was for so long. I'll give Huntsman 2 a look.

Patsy said...

I can co-host next month if you still need someone, Alex.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Alex, I'll have to checkout the movies and shows you have mentioned. Yep, word verification irritates me a lot, but as I don't visit as many blogs as you do, I kind of manage, though I grumble a lot to myself about it. I even blogged about it once, hoping that the bloggers who have word verification on, will switch it off. But, I guess they didn't bother doing that.

Margaret D said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting - from Sandra's...
Ah! Interesting reviews in your post.
Have Netflix in Australia but, always a but, The Huntsman: Winter Wars hasn't been released in Australia as yet.
Stranger Things, just love it!

Unknown said...

I've watched the second Huntsman, and quite liked it. Um, that's also cos I like the male lead lol.

I wanted to offer to co-host, but realized that my name is now off the list, possibly because I've missed making IWSG posts (my bad.)

If you need anyone, I'm available to help in February, as I'll be taking a break between drafts.

Have a great new Year, Alex, and here's hoping your blog and your books go from strength to strength!

Tamara Narayan said...

I'm late to the blog this week, but if you still need a February cohost, count me in.

The last movie I saw in the theater was Sing--so cute. I grump about going to cartoons, but this one was quiet enjoyable. I'm not so thrilled that my kids can't stop singing I'm Still Standing by Elton John. (I'd prefer Island Girl or Tiny Dancer, please.)

Top movies or shows? I get stuck watching the same old same old on Netflix, but I did like Penny Dreadful. Must give Stranger Things another chance. Game of Thrones rocks.

Tess Julia said...

Great post as always! I always appreciate your reviews on movies and tend to agree with them :) Plus I needed the push to visit others on ISWG- I've been rather lazy about it but I know how good it feels to have others visit me!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Thanks, Alex! I kind of spaced on blogging early this week and missed your super nice shout out.

My family started enjoying Gotham last year - we are a little behind, but it's one of our top 5 shows (for teens and up).

I love your reviews! :)

Mark said...

Yeah, those blogger verification visual boards are annoying. I think I eliminated it on my blog, but if you see it there, let me know. Thanks:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

PTM, we have missed you!

Ellie, it's like Stranger Things - brings back good memories.

John, they've gained ground with their original series.

Thanks, Patsy!

Rachna, there may not be a way to switch it off now.

Margaret, welcome! Stranger Things was awesome.

Thanks, Damy! And if you're off the list, just sign back up again.

Thanks, Tamara. Might need one for March. And that song would drive me crazy after a while.

Tyrean, sorry I missed you the first time.

Mark, since you use Google+, no verification.

T.F. Walsh said...

I'm a huge Underworld fan, but I was so disappointed with the latest movie.. it's like they didn't even both with a decent plot...

Tammy Theriault said...

the 2nd Huntsmen is SO good!! I love the series :)

Sandra Cox said...

Love Cecelia's cover!
Hope you're having a great weekend, Alex.

Blue Grumpster said...

Annoyance does not come close to the way I feel about that kind of verification, Alex. Let's just say it often keeps me from commenting (I'm no ninja, clearly) and makes me want to go and watch Jupiter Ascending instead.

mail4rosey said...

Happy to see the Top 5 list. I will see the Huntsman...I did like Kristen Stewart in the first one, but you're right, SnowWhite should be happy/cheery. :) I haven't seen Civil War (which I can't believe!) but I will.

Have a great long weekend!

Donna McDine said...

I have to check out the Huntsman: Winter's War and verifications tend to make me leave the blog very quickly. Very annoying!

Theresa Milstein said...

EVERYONE is talking about Better Call Saul. Now I should see it!

I saw Manchester by the Sea, which was devastatingly sad. Now I want to see Hidden Figures.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to UNDERWORLD, especially since one of the producers is a high school friend of my sister and me. :)

We watched (rented, obv) SUICIDE SQUAD last night. Wanted to love. Sadly, did not. Saw DEADPOOL a couple of weeks ago and was pleasantly surprised. Thought it was hilarious.

Happy New Year, Alex!

Mason T. Matchak said...

I'm with you on your choices for movie of 2016 - Civil War was easily one of the best superhero movies I've seen, and largely because it genuinely explored the consequences of super-powered people doing what they do. And Rogue One covered Star Wars territory that no other Star Wars movie has, which I think was great - it's good to see how the Rebellion does its thing without the involvement of the Jedi.

Magic Love Crow said...

I hate that stupid blog verification!! I am behind in blogging and it's because of that! Errr....!!!! I could throw something at my laptop right now!!! LOL! Lucky I can still laugh about it! I love Deadpool!!!

Sandra Cox said...

OMG, Alex! That is wonderful. Kudos and congrats on the translation. Woo Hoo!
I'm so excited for you.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Nice post, Alex!
I'm glad you enjoyed Kate. You can't go wrong with her in those outfits. :)

I like your choices for best of 2016! I got the husband the new Metallica, but he's been playing it in his car and I haven't heard it yet. :)

We finally watched The Accountant. I was pleasantly surprised by it and Mr. Afflek.


Deniz Bevan said...

Ooh, this reminds me, I never finished watching Better Call Saul! I was enjoying it, too...

Gossip_Grl said...

Hi Alex! It has been awhile. Although I tell myself to keep up sometimes life doesn't always cooperate the way I want it to. We did watch the new Huntsman movie. The hubby liked it. I was pretty much on a limb with the movie. I like how it went back to how it all started, but that is about all. This week we are renting Inferno. We love the Da Vinci Series- Angels and Demons and hope Inferno is as great!

I was happy to get the announcement about the April A-Z and am hoping to participate on my blog, The Chronicles of Loving a Heroin Addict (@