Monday, July 8, 2019

Spider-man: Far From Home, Stranger Things 3, Murders on Boats with Ellen Jacobson, and Ninja News!

Spider-man: Far From Home

Picking up after Avengers: Endgame, Peter Parker needs a break and takes a school trip to Europe. Of course, Spider-man is needed!
This film was a ton of fun. Marvel just keeps getting better and better. It was a great idea to get Spider-man out of New York for a bit.
Tom Holland is excellent as Spider-man/Peter Parker, bringing just the right elements to the roles. His friends and classmates also made for a great cast.
The special effects are spectacular. However, it’s the human element that makes this film so engaging.
And remember this name – Night Monkey!
As always, stay through the credits. The first bonus scene is very critical and really sets up an interesting third Spider-man film. And at the end of the credits is the second bonus scene.
Highly recommended!

Stranger Things – Season Three

The third and possibly last season of Stranger Things dropped on the Fourth of July and I may or may not have watched half of it that day!
The kids are now teens and enjoying their summer. Everyone but Will has a girlfriend/boyfriend, so there are a lot of raging hormones. The familiar faces all return – the kids, the young adults, and the adults – plus there are a few new faces in the crowd.
The first episode establishes where the characters are in life, taking its time to introduce the weirdness. Oh, but it does come! There are also a lot of different subplots running along, but as the episodes progress, they all start to come together.
NetFlix had a lot of faith in season three and put a lot of money into the production. The special effects are really great and on a much bigger scale.
The Duffer brothers have a great grasp on all things 80’s. It feels like you are watching something from Steven Spielberg or Joe Dante.
Eight episodes is the perfect length. And all those subplots come together for one explosive and surprising ending. And certainly stick around for the post credit scene. It will make you wonder if this really is the final season. (They are now talking two more although maybe not with all the same characters.)
Highly Recommended!

Murders on Boats!

Please welcome Ellen Jacobson!

I love reading mysteries and I live on a sailboat, so it only seems natural that I would seek out movies and TV shows that feature murder on boats.

Death on the Nile (1978)
This classic adaptation of Agatha Christie’s book stars Peter Ustinov as the Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. When a wealthy heiress is found dead on a paddle steamer, Poirot puts his little gray cells to work identifying the killer.

Murder Mystery (2019)
This comedy stars Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler as a married couple who get caught up in a murder investigation on a billionaire’s mega-yacht. If you’re looking for a light-hearted whodunit, this might be just the ticket.

High Seas (2019)
This Netflix Spanish language series features two sisters who travel on a luxury cruise ship from Spain to Brazil. When someone ends up dead, they try to discover who the murderer is. The 1940s vintage period decor and setting add to the appeal.

Dead Men Tell (1941)
Charlie Chan investigates the death of a woman who planned to seek out treasure on an old sailing ship. A pirate ghost with peg leg, missing pieces of a treasure map, and a talking parrot add to the fun.

The Mystery Cruise (2013)
When two best friends set off on a three day murder mystery game on a luxury cruise ship, they end up putting their investigative skills to work after they discover a real murderer is on board.

Poisoned by the Pier is available in ebook, paperback and large print on all retailers. If you’re new to the series, you might want to start with Murder at the Marina. The ebook is currently on sale for only 99c/99p on all retailers. Find out more on my website.

Get Ellen’s books here - Poisoned by the Pier and Murder at the Marina

Ninja News

We are looking for one more admin to join the IWSG team! If you are interested, please email us. Must be active member of either the blog hop or Facebook. Email - admin @

Don’t forget the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Annual Anthology Contest is open and taking submissions!
Genre is middle grade historical – adventure/ fantasy and the theme is voyagers.
See the site for full details.

A Not So Heartless World by Pat Hatt
This is book nine in the series!

After facing time travel, time fractions, the time axis, the Time Junction, alternate realities, Olympus, the Freton, aging, and even being turned into cartoons, Jack, Jeremiah, Emily, Trudy, Orlin, and the rest of their family have finally made it safely home. But as a battle as old as time itself comes to a head, they soon find that home is the least safe place they have ever been.

Pick it up on Amazon

After sixty-seven years, Mad Magazine is shutting down.
From Rolling Stone:
The comedy mag will be pulled from newsstands after the release of issue nine in August and from then on will be sold exclusively via subscriptions and comic book store (Mad reset its numbering in 2018 after moving offices). Starting with issue 11 in October, “new” issues of Mad will only feature new cover art, while the rest of the magazine will comprise articles pulled from previous issues.

Upcoming DVD releases:

July 16 – Shazam!

July 23 – Alita: Battle Angel

And in case you missed it, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance series debuts on August 30 on NetFlix. The series is a prequel to the movie released in 1982.

Fingers crossed they stay pure to Jim Henson’s style and vision!

With a vacation coming up soon, I’m going to take the rest of July off. I’ll also be writing! So enjoy your summer and after this week, I’ll see you on August 7 for the next IWWSG post day.


Tim Knight said...

Where did you hear that this was supposed to be the last season of Stranger Things? I didn't get that impression at all from the show - it felt like it was setting things up for at least one more season.

Pat Hatt said...

Thanks for the shout and enjoy your vacation as you write away.

Stranger Things season 3 is awesome indeed. Watched it all but the last episode. Will get to that tonight. Marvel is still going strong after End Game too.

RaveAir said...

I intend to watch the new season of Stranger Things soon.

But... Have you ever checked the German mystery series, the Dark? I think this is also a recommended series.

Shady Del Knight said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Mrs. Shady and I have only watched two episodes of Stranger Things 3 so far, and we are enjoying it tremendously. Go Karen Wheeler! :) I watched an interview with Dacre Montgomery who plays the tough, abusive Billy Hargrove. He's Australian and, like Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and other Aussies, does an excellent job of Americanizing his accent for the role. Montgomery is a gentle, soft-spoken fellow, the polar opposite of Billy. I suppose that's called acting. I read that The Duffer Brothers intend to produce a fourth and possibly a fifth season before bringing the series to an end.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tim, between interviews last year with the characters and reading about the upcoming season, they said it was probably the last one, at least with this group of kids.

Pat, you're welcome. Brace yourself for that final episode.

RaveAir, I have watched some of The Dark!

Shady, I saw that he was Australian as well. Yes, they are talking another season or two, but this might be the last season with all these characters.

Liza said...

Seems like it is universal. Spider man is a hit. But since my husband is a sailor, I'll pass on the sailing murders!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

My daughter is probably halfway through Stranger Things (was watching it at night while we were on vacation!) She's enjoying it, too. :) I did watch the last two seasons and enjoyed them...looking for a good time to fit the new season in.

Ellen, congratulations to you! I love "Death on the Nile," too, but I don't think I've seen the Ustinov film...I'll check it out! And "Murder Mystery" has been recommended to me on Netflix, too. I hope I can find time to fit in all these cool shows!

Tim Knight said...

Alex - thanks for that (sad) piece of gossip. I hope some of the kids stick around :(

Joanne said...

Happy vacation and writing. I did watch Spider Man into the Spider Verse on Netflix - that was quite clever. Also - Ray and I watched 3 episodes so far of Stranger Things 3. I got creeped out and had to pause for another day. Whew!
MAD magazine was my life back in the day - loved it, especially their movie stuff.
And of course Pat Hatt has a book in July - congrats to number 9.
Stay cool

The Cynical Sailor said...

Thank you so much for hosting me and featuring my new release, Alex!

I remember reading Mad Magazine as a kid and thinking it was hysterical. I wonder if I'd still find it funny as an adult?

Enjoy your time off and we'll see you back here next month :)

Cheers - Ellen

Chemist Ken said...

We plan on seeing Spiderman as soon as we can all agree on a time.

Ha! I remember watching Charlie Chan movies on TV back when I was a kid. Boy does that bring back memories of a simpler time.

Enjoy your time off from blogging!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Definitely plan on watching Stranger Things 3, sooner rather than later. Thanks for the review!

Have a great vacation, Alex - write AND relax! :)

Natalie Aguirre said...

I just started watching episode 1 of Stranger Things. Plan to finish it and continue on tonight. Please don't say that it is the end of the series.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tim, maybe they can do one more with all the kids. But as one reviewer said, once the younger ones hit college, it is time to stop.

Joanne, glad you watched that Spider-man. And Stranger Things only gets creepier...

Ellen, you're welcome! Seems Mad got quite political in the past twenty years - saw lots of covers with Trump and Obama - and not sure kids would relate.

Natalie, it is wide open for another one.

Carrie-Anne said...

Enjoy your summer holiday!

Mad magazine will be missed. I haven't read it in years. but I remember it as a fun cultural icon for so-called weird kids, the ones who didn't have much interest in going along with the crowd.

John Wiswell said...

I loved this season of Stranger Things! A ton of Horror fun. I'd heard the next season will be the last, though given what a phenomenon it is, I wouldn't be surprised if Netflix is trying to extend it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I loved the Dark Crystal movie and can't wait to see the series. Better not make me cry like Stranger Things did though.

Andrew Leon said...

Loved Spider-Man, of course. They did a really great job with Mysterio.
And the next Spider-Man movie should be... interesting, to say the least.

One day, I'll get started on Stranger Things.

Mary Kirkland said...

I still need to watch Endgame and then I'll watch this spider Man movie.

Jemi Fraser said...

Ellen is featured at my blog today as well! :) Loved her book!
I loved Death on the Nile the book - can't remember if I ever saw the movie. Probably because I love all things Agatha Christie

J E Oneil said...

I can't wait to see the new Spider-Man movie. I'm so impressed how good they've been! So much fun. They really did a great job on the last one. I'm also excited for the new Stranger Things. I just have to avoid spoilers until I can get to see it. said...

Have a great, productive break, Alex!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

John, the kids will grow up at some point!

Andrew, yes, very interesting...

JE, better watch it soon then.

Elephant's Child said...

Patt Hat is a writing machine.
Enjoy your vacation (and your writing time).

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Enjoy your vacation. I need to rewatch the original Dark Crystal. Looking forward to Spiderman.

Susan Kane said...

Looking forward to Stranger Things! Where or who is Toothless?

Dark Crystal! My son will be thrilled. It was his favorite movie.

Looking forward to Spider Man. He really shone in Endgame.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Enjoy your vacation this month, and good luck with your writing! Thanks for featuring Ellen and Pat.
I'm heading for Nova Scotia soon, and I'm very excited.

Lynda Dietz said...

Looking forward to seeing the latest Spiderman! And I'm so far behind on Stranger Things that I actually considered giving up on it, but now everyone's talking about Season 3 and I haven't even made it to Season 2 and aaaagggghhh. Gonna have to bite the bullet and find some time to watch.

Liz A. said...

Now that I have Netflix, I should probably start Stranger Things. One of these days... Have a great July. (Good month for vay-cay. My birthday month!)

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I saw the first two episodes of Stranger Things 3 so far. The first I liked, but, as good as it's filmed and the characters are, I was a bit disappointed with the more excessive than usual gore in the second episode which makes the series less suitable for younger kids unlike the first two seasons. Hopefully the other episodes Will be better. Also, there seems to be a little bit of campiness in season three compared to the other seasons making it a bit too comical: one instance is that the profit obsessed mayor comes across as too much like a stereotypical villainous politician. Still, the season does good in holding audiences in suspense, the culture of the period is depicted convincingly and the stories are well written so I plan to watch the whole season.

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

I have not yet started watching Stranger Things 3, but I will this week. I hope it will be as good as the other seasons.

I am not surprised to see another book from Pat, this guy just keeps putting stories out there. Congrats Pat!

Enjoy your month off and keep on writing. Your fans are waiting.

Stay safe and enjoy life!

Debra Renée Byrd said...

This season of Stranger Things is a TEAR-JERKER! I heard there's one more season, and then it's done. I am SO EXCITED for The Dark Crystal! I've been waiting for this since I first heard they were working on it when I was in college!

mail4rosey said...

Thanks for the tip to stay after the credits too for Spiderman. We always say we'll stay but then we're the only ones there and the people are sweeping so we leave. We'll stay this time. Maybe we'll go see it tomorrow after basketball practice.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I am so mad at Netflix for constantly cancelling shows without wrapping them up. Or did they finalize Stranger Things? I refuse to watch any series on Netflix until it's finished. Still smarting over the end of Santa Clarita Diet right in the middle.

Rhonda Albom said...

I am a fan of both Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler so Murder Mystery tops my list, and I know Ellen. We had coffee together one day in Auckland. I hadn't read her books yet, but per your suggestion, I am starting with Murder at the Marina. Congrats Ellen!

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations to Ellen and Pat. Sounds like some interesting movies to watch. Alex, wishing you and your family a safe and fun vacation.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - love the idea of Ellen's branding for her mystery books ... just fun settings around the coast and amongst boats. Just enjoy the break ... and good writing time - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, you mean Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon?

Louis, enjoy!

Lynda, watch it! You won't regret the time spent.

Steven, hate to say it, but more gore to come.

Debra, it did have a sad ending.

Rosey, over half the crowd I was in stayed to the end for the second scene.

Elizabeth, it could be considered ended now.

Birgit said...

Enjoy your vacation and your writing! Spider-Man looks like fun and will see it when it’s out on DVD. Of course I have seen Death in the Nile and the Charlie Chan movie. This is one series that hasn’t come back but I always enjoyed him.

Juneta key said...

The new Spiderman sounds interesting. Congrats to all the new release authors. Have a great vacation.

DMS said...

I haven't watched this season of Stranger Things yet. I have a friend in Georgia who has worked on all the sets of the show helping to set the "80s vibe stage". That is what first got me into the show because I wanted to see what my friend did at work. :) Glad you enjoyed the season and it sounds intriguing.

Hope you have a wonderful vacation and that you get lots of writing done! :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

Since Hubby doesn't like Spiderman movies, I'm free to go to the theatre on my own (I'll find that $5 special somewhere). And now that I finished my WIP (yay!) I have time to do it now!

Patricia JL said...

Have a fun vacation!

Sandra Cox said...

Thanks for the review of Spider Man. I may have to catch that.
Enjoy your time away. We'll leave the light on for ya. I'm sure you're making your publisher's day with the magic words 'I'll also be writing':)

Powdered Toast Man said...

my wife was catching up on Stranger Things as I was reading your review, so weird.

Thanks again for playing Chewie. I wish I had capitalized on the increased traffic but family comes first.

dolorah said...

I should have done more writing on my 4 days off. I suffer from a lack of discipline. Have a great writing vaca.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Looking forward to Spider-man. I decided not to binge watch Stranger Things because when I really like a series or even a book, I slow down to make it last. We have two episodes left, and I'm loving it, just like the first two.

We just returned from a mini-vaca this weekend, but leave again on July 20th for a week. Enjoy July, your vacation, and your writing!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jess, that is really cool your friend worked on the set.

Stacy, go and enjoy!

Sandra, I'm sure I am!

PTM, thanks for inviting me.

Computer Tutor said...

I can't believe how popular Stranger Things is. It has never appealed to me and now, I'm thinking it should!

Sandra said...

I have never seen Stranger Things. May have to check it out.
Enjoy your time away. The light's still on:)

Leslie S. Rose said...

I'm just about to tuck into STRANGER THINGS. Popcorn at the ready.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I will make a beeline for anything with the words 'far from home' on it. Ditto 'murder mystery.'

Have the most relaxing and productive holiday, Alex! I know that sounds contradictory but you know what I mean.

Sandra Cox said...

Ellen's series sounds like fun reads. Death on the Nile, definitely a classic.

Roland Clarke said...

Have an excellent and well-deserved vacation. See you around on August 7th which happens to be my Ageing Celebration so I may not be sober.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jacqui, it's a great show.

Leslie, enjoy!

Nila, I know!

Roland, that made me chuckle.

Katherines Corner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katherines Corner said...

Alex, you deserve a bit of a break, I hope its a wonderful time spent relaxing and making happy memories.
We watched season two through to the end of season three of Stranger Things. They didn't have many episodes, which was disappointing and teenage hormones were definitely present ( wink). We enjoyed the series. I just wish it didn't take so long for the new season to come out. Right now we are "impatiently" waiting for Lost in Space to return. Big hugs, my friend! P.S. Welcome Ellen!

Arlee Bird said...

IN my early teen years I was mad about Mad magazine. I wish I still had all those old copies I used to have. I think I gave them away to someone. Great humor!


Toi Thomas said...

I'm looking forward to The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. I recently rewatched the original in anticipation. Enjoy your vacation and see you August.

Tonja Drecker said...

We're going to try to hit Spiderman this sounds fantastic! Congratulations, Ellen! I love her series. And wow to the Dark Crystal. I had no idea that was coming out. Hopefully...hopefully, they do a good job.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Katherine, short seasons means we blaze through them all too fast.

Tyrean Martinson said...

Happy Writing, Alex!
We loved Spiderman: Far From Home and Stranger Things, Season 3, too! Great filmography and storytelling!

Have a great July, Alex!

SpacerGuy said...

Spiderman is far from home hey I like it, Spidey still showing in the Cinemas, I'll have check this one out guys.

Magic Love Crow said...

Enjoy your time off Alex! Have fun writing! I've never seen Stranger Things! Sounds good! I have not seen any of those mysteries with boats involved! I have some watching to do! LOL! Take Care Alex!

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I'm about to see Spiderman with my oldest grandsons. Can't wait.

Pat IS a writing machine. He must have a lot words on his brain.


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations to Ellen on her new book and on all the other exciting events that are taking place. I know nothing about all of them. My TV only gets the basic channels. Have a great week, all.

Julie Flanders said...

Hope you are having a wonderful vacation, Alex! And a great month. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

There were rumors ST is ending but it hasn’t been confirmed. I hope not. As for the home video releases I’m looking forward to Alita the most since I couldn’t get to the theaters to watch it.

Loni Townsend said...

Went to Spider-Man this past weekend. Had lots of fun, though my son wouldn't stop wiggling around in his seat. We'll probably be renting it again when it hits Redbox!

Hope you have a productive time off. :)

Helena said...

Holy smoke, Death on the Nile is from 1978? 'Cause I saw it on the big screen way back when! Guess I'm older than I thought.

My own fave rave mystery movies are in the Thin Man movies because they're fun, witty, stylish, and 1930's-style elegant. Oh, and Nick and Nora have a fantastic marriage!

Al Penwasser said...

I don't like the direction of the new Spiderman.
1. He was nothing (relatively) until the Avengers (Tony Stark) came along.
I don't like that.
2. Tony Stark gave him his uniform (with a bunch of bells and whistles). It detracts from the genius of Peter Parker that he didn't come up with it on his own.
I don't like that.
3. MJ learns his identity early on.
I don't like that.
4. Sexy Aunt May.
5. Sexy Aunt May learns his identity.
I don't like that.
6. Seriously, though, enough with SM and the Avengers. Geez a lou.

I get it, though. The producers aren't going for people like me. They're jazzing up the character for new audiences.

I will say, however, that Tom Holland is spot on as Peter Parker. A perfect choice.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Teresa, hope you enjoyed it.

Maurice, it was good. They stayed true to the source material.

Al, at least Tom Holland has that going for him!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Even though I haven't read one in years, it kinda made me sad to hear the Mad magazine is going the way of the dodo. I still remember the cover of the January, 1961 issue, because I thought it was so cool. It featured the numbers 1961 in the center and looked the same right side up as it did upside down. And I still remember some of the poems and parodies that used to be in those pages... (sigh) The end of an era.

Enjoy your break!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Have a great vacation, Alex. I so loved Far From Home that I saw it twice. Tom Holland is the epitome of Spider-Man. His Instagram is so much fun. He strikes me as someone that isn't stuck on himself and is very down to earth and approachable. His charisma is off the charts.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Stranger Things has been brilliant. Glad to know the third season doesn't disappoint!

mshatch said...

Hope you get lots of writing done! Enjoy your vacation :) said...

Enjoy your vacation! Happy writing, Alex!

mail4rosey said...

We did get to the new Spiderman movie, and we stayed for the credits based on your recommendation. My son kept saying, 'there's nothing else coming,' but I was glad we waited. ;) Good show!

Anonymous said...

I hope you're enjoying the vacation, Alex. It's well deserved! I'll see you in August!!


J Lenni Dorner said...

FFH was great. I felt bad for him in that last scene. Loved that the credits had two bonus scenes.
That's great about Ellen Jacobson. I interviewed her when the first one came out.

Hope you have a great vacation! I've been so busy this month. Unexpected, but worthy, activities snuck into my life.

Donna K. Weaver said...

We loved Spiderman. Tom Holland is my fave of all the versions. He's so fun to watch. And I agree, this film had heart.

Blue Grumpster said...

I agree, Alex. This Spider-Man movie is fun.

Mark Koopmans said...

Thanks for not doing the spoiler thing re. Stranger Things!! I've only watched episode 1 of season 3 (was kinda busy with 3 rug rats:) but am looking forward to catching up with it once I get wifi at my new place!

Sherry Ellis said...

I almost ended up playing for the string quartet restaurant scene in season three of Stranger Things. That would've been an interesting gig! I only saw a few episodes. Guess it didn't hook me like the first season did. It seemed weird for Eleven and that other kid to be kissing so much and their teen angst was a bit annoying for me. I deal with enough of that in real life. :)

Sherry Ellis said...

I almost played for the string quartet in the restaurant scene in season 3 of Stranger Things.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I've been so out of the loop I had no idea "Poisoned by the Pier" was out already. Off to the book store I go!

XmasDolly said...

Well my friend, may I be totally honest with you...? Okay any bug movie I totally agree I HATE BUGS OR ANYTHING THAT LOOKS LIKE THEM. As far as spiderman though I tolerate him because he is mostly human... right... but you did give a great show a tolerable review Dead Men Tell (1941)
Charlie Chan investigates the death of a woman who planned to seek out treasure on an old sailing ship. A pirate ghost with a peg leg, missing pieces of a treasure map, and a talking parrot add to the fun. Of course, I love old movies, but Dude what's the matter you don't like "THE ROCK"??? I think he's a pretty good actor, of course, I just saw his other movie oh my gosh it was awesome you know the one where he's climbing & jumping from building to building and giant gorilla saves the day hahaha and they're buddies oh my gosh what a great movie it was. Anyway, I just thought YOU GAVE HOBBS & SHAW A FANTASTIC review. It was totally awesome. Wonder if they'll do a sequel.... hmm IT WAS TOTALLY FREAKIN' AWESOME, but maybe I'm partial cuz we're big ROCK fans in this family!!! hahaha Well, the female part of the family so far, but I'm workin' on the hubby! hahaha HAVE A GREAT VACATION MY FRIEND... SENDING BIG HUGS!!!!