Monday, January 29, 2018

CassaStar on Sale, RiffTrax, Reviews, Oscar Nominations, February Movie Preview, and Music Review

CassaStar on Sale!

For the next two weeks, my publisher is running promotions for CassaStar and has dropped the price to .99.

To pilot the fleet’s finest ship…

“…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein’s early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars.” - Library Journal

You can download it here: Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon UK

Appreciate any help spreading the word. If you’re on Twitter, you can share my pinned Tweet or send out your own –
Amazon Best-Seller CassaStar by @alexjcavanaugh on sale for .99 cents! iTunes Amazon Barnes and Noble #99cents #scifi

And if you’ve never seen the book trailer:

RiffTrax Reviews

Just a couple of the recent gems I watched.

The Little Unicorn
The stars of this 2002 film were obviously slumming a paycheck – David Warner, George Hamilton, Christopher Atkins (wow, remember him?) – and they all act disinterested.
However, that made for great riffing material and it’s extremely funny! Bill delivers some of my most favorite lines ever.
By the end, you’ll believe a unicorn can fly…
Wait, unicorns can fly?

Yes, I am recommending one without Mike, Bill, and Kevin. Riffed by Janet Varney and Cole Stratton, it’s top level riffing that I’m sure made the three guys proud.
Most of you probably remember this 1984 film, and no, it hasn’t aged well.
But, it’s hilarious from start to finish!

Music Review

Audrey Horne - Blackout
I read a review about it and decided to give the album a shot.
This Norway band is an homage to all early 80’s metal.
The album blends parts from Iron Maiden, early Def Leppard, Krokus, and about a thousand other bands. Somehow they manage to make music that sounds like the 80’s and yet also sounds current and fresh. Yes, it’s a unique combination – it takes you back while sounding brand new.
What I like most is it’s just a really fun rock album.
So if you’re jonesing for that 80’s sound but want something new, this is the album to buy!

Oscar Nominations

By now everyone has seen the Oscar nominations. (And if you haven’t, they are listed here.)

No big surprises, although once again Andy Serkis was overlooked for his role as Caesar in War for the Planet of the Apes.

My predictions are often wrong (in part because I’m lousy at it and part that the Academy often makes really stupid selections) but I will mention a couple wins I’d like to see happen.

Best Picture – either Dunkirk or Shape of Water would be great. (And either director to win Best Director.)

Best Animated Film – Boss Baby? Really? How did that even get nominated? Winner should be Coco, hands down.

Cinematography – toss-up between Blade Runner 2049 and Dunkirk.

Sound Editing and Sound Mixing – all five films are worthy. Like to see Baby Drive score one of those, or Film Editing. The car chases were that good and convincing.

Makeup and Hair – if The Darkest Hour doesn’t win, I’ll be stunned.

Visual Effects – got to give it to Blade Runner 2049. It was so real and immersive.

And there you have it! Now, don’t take those predictions to Vegas…

February Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for February! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

2 –

Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.
Directors: Michael Spierig | Peter Spierig
Stars: Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke, Angus Sampson
Is it a compelling horror film or is Hellen Mirren just slumming a paycheck?

9 -

The 15:17 to Paris
Three U.S. Airmen discover a terrorist plot aboard a train while in France.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Thomas Lennon, Lillian Solange Beaudoin
It’s great the film highlights real-life heroes, but there must be a lot of exposition to turn a one minute event into a movie over an hour and a half.

16 –

The Black Panther
T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.
Director: Ryan Coogler
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira
It will be awesome! Half a billion dollars’ worth of commercials and advertising says so…

Early Man
Set at the dawn of time, when prehistoric creatures and woolly mammoths roamed the earth, Early Man tells the story of Dug, along with sidekick Hognob as they unite his tribe against a mighty enemy Lord Nooth and his Bronze Age City to save their home.
Director: Nick Park
Stars: Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Timothy Spall
The adventures of Wallace and Gromit’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great (times a hundred) grandfathers!

23 –

A biologist signs up for a dangerous, secret expedition where the laws of nature don't apply.
Director: Alex Garland
Stars: Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh
Tried to read the book, but it was just super weird. Hopefully the movie tones down the weirdness.

Want to pick up CassaStar real cheap? Been watching any of the RiffTrax I’ve recommended? Every heard of Audrey Horne? What’s your Oscar predictions? And what movies will you be seeing in February?

See you Wednesday, February 7 for IWSG post day! Enjoy the Super Bowl and another year of dumb commercials.


nashvillecats2 said...

Good Day Alex.......first today.
Thanks for your most interesting post, I loved the film reviews as I don't get to the cinema at the moment it's great to know what the latest films are doing the rounds.
Have a good week.


Mason Canyon said...

I hate to say it, but I've never been a big fan of watching the Oscars. Seems my picks never win. Some interesting movies coming in February but nothing that really says 'you just gotta watch me.'

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

My husband just watched "Blade Runner 2049" and told me, "It's a writer's movie." (He liked it.) I may have to rent it.

I usually see everything Helen Mirren is in, but I'm surprised she's in a ghost/horror movie!

Pat Hatt said...

I recall Dreamscape, haven't watched it in years though. Bet it hasn't aged well. Pffft is the only reaction I ever give the Oscars. Black Panther and then on to Avengers.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I bet Color of Water wins too. It sounds fantastic. Can't wait to see it. And I remembered to tape X-Files last week after you reminded us about it with your post. Didn't totally get the story but it was fun to watch again.

mshatch said...

How sad. There isn't a single February movie that piques my interest., that is an oldie, with a rather young Dennis Quaid. I remember enjoying it at the time but I've also recently found that some of those old (haha 80s) movies don't hold up.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yvonne, you are first!

Mason, we don't really watch either.

Elizabeth, you need to see it! Mirren has been in a variety of movies.

Pat, the effects are no longer that special.

Natalie, last week's was a quirky funny episode.

Marcy, some movies are best left in our memories.

Joanne said...

I think Dunkirk should win - quite stunning. Frances McDormand for Best Actress. Gary Oldman for Actor. Coco for Animation, for sure. I agree with your picks.I still need to see Shape of Water. Still whittling down the list.
And where's Wonder Woman???? I wonder!

Christine Rains said...

I still can't believe Boss Baby was nominated! Last year wasn't lacking animated films that much. I hope to see The Black Panther, and unfortunately I'll likely be seeing Peter Rabbit. I can riff it in my head! Have a good week, Alex. :)

TL said...

Well I already have it, but off to Twitter to RT you...

Charles Gramlich said...

Not on Twitter but I shared the link on Facebook

kaykuala said...

Dunkirk has my nomination as war movies have a special attraction. The Oscar night event though may have lost its luster


Arlee Bird said...

When I heard the Oscar nominations I was shocked at how few I'd even heard of--guess I've really gotten out of the movie loop. I don't think I've seen anything yet that's been nominated so I have no real opinion. I kind of doubt that Dunkirk or Shape of Water will win the Oscar, but that's just a hunch based on the way the Awards have trended in recent years.

Winchester sounds like super dumb Hollywood propaganda drivel. I doubt that I'll be seeing that one. I usually see all of Eastwood's films because I like his style and he picks some good stories.

Tossing It Out

Carrie-Anne said...

Once again, I haven't seen any of the Oscar-nominated films, though I'm interested in the historical ones, like Dunkirk and Victoria and Abdul. If I were still in a city with indie theatres (charging less than big-name theatres), I probably would've seen a few of them.

Misha Gerrick said...

I read CassaStar before it was cool. (How's THAT for street cred? :-P)

As for the Oscars... I used to love them, but I'm finding more and more that they're not all that relevant or even interesting anymore.

Which is sad, given that our local animation studio (Triggerfish) got a nomination.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm torn on the Winchester movie. It's right out here, the house, that is, and we've been intending to go for a while but haven't been able to make it. The history is fascinating, and the core of the movie seems to be accurately based. But... a horror movie?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joanne, that is an excellent question! It was definitely snubbed.

Christine, write some of those riffs down while you're watching and you can later give us the play-by-play.

Thanks, Tara!

Charles, appreciate that!

Lee, Eastwood is talented behind the camera. And in his late eighties - so impressive!

Misha, that is some cred! And cool a local studio got noticed in the nominations.

Andrew, it seems more mystery than horror to me. Like, can you find your way out of the maze?

Yolanda Renée said...

Love the trailer! Tweeted the promotion! Good luck, I've lowered the prices on my books too, until the end of the month. So far, so good!

Don't care about the Oscars but I'll follow your predictions! :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Winchester looks interesting, but nothing I'll see in the theatre because Hubby doesn't like scary. Plus, it's just gotten too expensive to go to the theatre for just any old movie.

Chrys Fey said...

Have you heard of Alan Walker, a musician? He doesn’t do rock, but my nephew just introduced me to a few of his songs, and I felt like I was being schooled in good music. lol

Cherie Reich said...

I hope the sale goes well!

Jen said...

I just re-tweeted the info on the booksale! I hope that goes well :D

I flip-flop with watching the Oscars. Sometimes they're really good, though the films I favor seldom win (except for the year of The King's Speech). I'm hugely in favor of The Shape of Water. That movie was beautiful. A flawlessly rendered fairytale. There aren't enough of those anymore.

Winchester looks interesting. I love a good ghost story.

Whoa. I just watched the trailer for Annihilation and I'm reading a review of the book on NPR's website. It reminds me a bit of Crichton's Congo (again, book WAAAY better than the movie). It could prove interesting.

Have a wonderful week!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I sure hope Dunkirk wins ... but somehow doubt it. Yes, odd about Andy Serkis not being recognised in any way. I can't get enthusiastic about the Oscars - they cross my radar. Now your book - here's to sales ... and I need to read more and must get my Kindle out - haven't set it up yet while I've been here ... cheers and have a good week - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Yolanda, thanks, and hope we both do well!

Chrys, not my kinds of music, but he is talented.

Thanks, Jen! Not sure about Annihilation, but Congo was a good book.

Hilary, you would think between the Apes movies and LOTR, he'd get some dap for his efforts.

Sherry Ellis said...

I'll hop over to your Twitter page and share the news about your book promotion.

The Cynical Sailor said...

I'm kind of intrigued now by Annihilation given it's weirdness level. I've spread the word on Twitter about CassaStar. I'm still trying to get the hang of this whole tweeting thing. :-)

Truedessa said...

Good Afternoon Alex,

I still have not seen Coco (sigh) nor have I seen The Shape of Water. I did see Dunkirk and this is the type of film that usually wins.

I haven’t been to the movies in awhile. I have been watching some on demand.

Nice to see CassaStar being offered. You know I really enjoyed the series and highly recommend it!

Have a peaceful week!

Lidy said...

Probably getting tired of saying this but I can not wait to see Black Panther. Yet to see Coco but have seen Boss Baby. Despite that I've seen a video explaining the philosophy of Coco in regards to family, physical death and secondary death that makes me lean towards your assessment that Coco should win best animated film.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I love Wallace and Gromit and I'm looking forward to seeing Early Man.

cleemckenzie said...

I must see Dunkirk. It's on my list.

As to Winchester, I've toured that house a few times and it is one amazing structure. I'd like to see how they portray Mrs. Winchester. said...

It's Super Bowl time AGAIN? Didn't we just have the Super Bowl, Alex?
I agree - the Academy makes bad picks, based on Hollywood politics, not merit.

Have a great week.

Fundy Blue said...

This refers to your post last week, Alex ~ I was thinking of you last night as I caught the latest X-Files episode shown so far in 2018 (#4 "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat"). It had me in stitches, especially at the end with its hilarious twist on some current political issues. And it was great fun seeing Mulder and Dr. They in one scene filed at the "A-maze-ing Laughter" exhibit in Vancouver ~ a magical place that a blogging buddy took me to see.

I have all your books in physical copies, so I'll pass on your download edition kindly offered. I've read two real paperback books, each one by an IWSG author this year ~ and I thoroughly enjoyed both. It's fun reading the books of IWSG members, and it's one way I can give something back. Thanks for a great post and for all you do! Take care!

Karen Lange said...

Can't believe we're heading into February already. Not sure where January went. Cheering for the Eagles this weekend. Used to live in that general area and cheered for them back then too. But they weren't as good then as they are now. Have a great week!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Sherry!

Appreciate it, Ellen.

Truedessa, I do know and thank you.

Lidy, it was a great story and brilliant animation.

Lee, hopefully crazy.

Robyn, you said it!

Fundy, that was a funny episode.

Karen, they need a win.

J E Oneil said...

Ugh, the Oscars. At least there are some good movies coming out next month.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm the WORST at picking winners for almost anything - especially movies because I've rarely seen more than 1 or 2 :)

Susan Kane said...

Dunkirk should win, but will it? Sometimes the best, most meaninful films have to get behind the splash and noise.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I have't seen any of the movies so have no idea which ones are best.

Hope you sell lots of books.

As for the Super Bowl, I'm waiting for Baseball Season. That's my sport.
Have a great week.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

We have an Eagles fan in the family so there's some excitement at our house for the Superbowl. I despise award shows. Never watch them though I notice that the winners aren't usually the ones I would pick.

klahanie said...

Hi human, Alex,

Consider the pawmotion by your pawblisher to be shared by me. Quite the bargain, my kind human friend.

Thanks for this pawst. As for the Super Bowl, is that anything like the Grey Cup?

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny! 🐶

PT Dilloway said...

The Dreamscape Rifftrax is pretty good even without Mike, Kevin, and Bill. I don't remember seeing the movie on its own before but I don't think I missed much.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Years ago I never missed the Oscars. My sister and I would bet on who'd win in their category. But for a few years now I haven't felt like watching them. Maybe it's the political hype that goes with the show. IDK. I did look at the nominees and I had to snicker. Most of them I never heard of, and the only movie that I did see was Dunkirk. A good one.

Sometimes a 99 cent sale is the only way to get my books moving. I'm hoping you sell a million copies or have a million downloads...

Have a successful week, Alex.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Beverly, you don't have long to wait.

Susan, at least the Grammy's did get the metal category right this year.

Thanks, Penny!

Pat it came out early eighties, so well over thirty years ago. Watching RiffTrax now is better.

Cathrina, thanks! And yes, I heard the Grammy's were very political, so glad I skipped them.

Michael Abayomi said...

Your predictions are spot on with mine, although I'll give The Shape of Water a slight edge over Dunkirk for Best Picture and Best Director.

Nilanjana Bose said...

Dunkirk should definitely bag one, so should Blade Runner but most selections totally baffle me.

All the best for the book sales!

H. R. Sinclair said...

Wait, unicorns can fly? -- giggle snort.

I'm looking forward to Black Panther. I believe commercial and advertising. they've never steered me wrong. 😁

Jo said...

Not much in the movie list that would appeal to me at all. I will try and promote your special on Cassa Star. Bit involved at the moment. Hope it goes well.

H.R. Bennett said...

Grabbed Cassa Star. ;)

Tonja Drecker said...

A flying unicorn...hmmm. Loved reading your reviews and seeing what's coming out. I don't think we'll be hitting the theaters this coming month. Or maybe we will? Have a great week!

Patsy said...

I hope the price promotion sees your sales rocket to out of this world levels!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

Got CassaStar!!!

15:17 looks really good. I'm giving that one a try. Early Man looks fun.

Liz A. said...

Tweet sent.

Re: The 15:16 to Paris. See: Sully.

Winchester. You know, that house actually exists. I want to see it one of these days. Next trip north, I hope.

Best Animated Feature really doesn't have any competition. It has to be Coco. When I saw Boss Baby on there, I knew they pretty much nominated all the animated films from the year. (I so would not have sat through Boss Baby, but I had little choice. It was shown to a class...)

Tyrean Martinson said...

The dumb commercials are the reason I watch the Superbowl, plus it's usually a fun get-together with friends who actually do love football.
I'll give a shout-out to CassaStar! :) I already own it.

Magic Love Crow said...

Hi Alex, I just started following you on Twitter! I posted about your sale! I love the trailer for your book! My brother is so excited to see The Black Panther!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, we said the same thing about 15:17 to Paris. I love Clint Eastwood, but I'm wondering how much they can put into that movie to make it interesting. Much like you, I don't understand any award shows. Then again, I don't like "normal" movies. I'm too easily entertained. Oh, and I'm putting my trust in you. I'm following Audrey Horne on Spotify. I'll let you know what I think. :)

Have a beachy week!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, I'll happy with either winning.

Holly, according to that movie they fly.

Jo, thanks, whatever you can do is fine.

Thanks, Robert!

Patsy, so do I!

Teresa, thanks!

Thanks, Liz. Sorry you had to see that movie. And I think touring the real Winchester house would be fun.

Thanks, Tyrean!

Crow, you rock!

Elsie, very cool! You like the 80's metal sound, you'll dig them.

Loni Townsend said...

Woot for the sale! I already have a copy for myself.

I'm looking forward to Black Panther. It looks like a good explosion of action.

Angela Brown said...

Yay for the sale. Already have my copy! Woot!!

The only film mentioned that I plan to see is Black Panther. Already got tickets for me and my kiddo who is also very excited about it. She loves the Marvel superhero films

Oh yeah, those Oscars. Through the last decade, me and award shows have fallen out of love with each other. I guess I'll find out about the winners and losers and the great or terrible acceptance speeches after the show.

Helena said...

Of course I'll be happy to spread the word about CassaStar, especially since I mightily enjoyed it!

Let's not forget that Hans Zimmer should absolutely get the Oscar for best music/soundtrack. For me, his music seemed to be the sound of my subconscious as I watched Dunkirk.

mail4rosey said...

Coco was WAY better than Boss Baby. I agree the judges were way off on that one.

Chemist Ken said...

Yay for Black Panther. I can't get enough superhero movies.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Angela, that's the least painful way to find out who won.

Thanks, Helena!

Ken, they can make all the superhero movies they want.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Of course I'm excited for Black Panther and Annihilation. Good luck on your book sale. I hope you sell tons of copies.

SpacerGuy said...

Clint Eastwood movies have so much dynamic realism, I reckon 15:17 to Paris will be a great one to see.

dolorah said...

Oscar prediction: someone will win!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Black Panther is going to sweep the planet. Now I want to see this ridiculous Little Unicorn movie. The poster alone screams terrible. But darn it if I'm not a sucker for unicorns.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Spacer Guy, I'm sure it will be.

Sheena-kay, it's also a British film, so double the fun.

DMS said...

I thought unicorns could do anything! :)

I am very curious about the Audrey Horne - Blackout. Sounds very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

"Boss Baby" for an award??? I HATED that movie. Absolutely hated it.

The movie 15:17 to Paris was filmed here in Atlanta, and our son-in-law worked on the set. He said it's a terrific movie.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking I need to convince hubby we need to see Black Panther in theaters because it looks amazing.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

I didn't remember/know that unicorns fly, but I do remember some pictures with wings. Always good info here. Thanks!

Rhonda Albom said...

I did something a bit different this week, I logged off and enjoyed four days with my family. Therefore, I am quite late so my Oscar predictions could be spot on - except I didn't watch, so I don't even know.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jess, give them a listen!

Susan, that's awesome.

Patricia, you do!

Mary, this movie didn't have the budget for wings...

Rhonda, good for you. Oscars aren't for a few more weeks, so time to make a random guess.

Mason T. Matchak said...

I don't have any particular Oscar predictions, but I have heard that we're seeing a more diverse field of nominees, which is an improvement. But I'm with you on Boss Baby. I mean, really?

Also: I will definitely be seeing Black Panther. I wasn't all that interested at first, but after seeing Civil War, I'm there.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Just saw this now, but I'll definitely retweet your sale Tweet. For some reason, Tweetdeck stopped populating my list columns, so I'm missing friends' Tweets, which really sucks.

I can't wait to see Winchester! I really hope it's decent.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I saw The Shape of Water last week and I was under-impressed. Some things I loved. like the soundtrack and the mid-modern setting which I love. But the love story was a little strange.

Fundy Blue said...

Aloha! I was checking for you post. I hope all is okay with you! I'm sitting in a breezeway in our hotel watching a huge downpour, but all is well! I'm happy to be in Hawaii. I only have internet in the lobby and breezeway, but I'm getting pretty good at all this. Take care!

Gingi said...

RiffTrax is pretty much the best thing, ever... -

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mason, I know - really?

Thanks, JH!

Sherry Ellis said...

I've heard good things about Winchester. If you see it, I hope you enjoy it.

I can't believe Boss Baby was nominated. Coco should have definitely been chosen!

Toi Thomas said...

Even though this isn't as bad as last year, I have very little interest in the Oscars. Still, I like your picks.

I'd say the main movie I'm looking forward to seeing right now is Black Panther. Early Man can wait.

Cherie Colyer said...

I'm going to have to check out Dreamscape. :) And I'm excited about Black Panther.

Mina Burrows said...

Hi Alex! I tweeted about the CS special. That's a great deal!
I'm not sure about Winchester either. I'm with you on the Black Panther movie. It looks awesome! Looking forward to IWSG tomorrow. :)

Erika Beebe said...

Awesome trailer for Cassa Star and I just bought the book. Great reflection on why you write Science Fiction. Blasters are cool. I like the YA genre for the same reasons, not the blasters of course, but the real world issues with make-believe worlds. Have a great rest of your week Alex.

The Happy Whisk said...

Hi Alex. I just got back from watching your trailer on YouTube. Fun that you did this and that more authors are doing this. I'm all into video.

This past weekend, Tim made trailers for his adventures. So much fun.

Wishing you a great week with lots of boogie boogie.