Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, IWSG Anthology Contest, Really Great Villains, Bad Adaptations and New Stories, and New Releases

The awesome co-hosts for the April 1 posting of the IWSG are Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Erika Beebe, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

Today’s question -
The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

We’re blessed there aren’t a lot of cases in our area. I’m still going to work! (Apparently I am essential.) But with most businesses now shut down and a stay at home order in place, there is a lot less traffic on the road.

I have faith we will survive this and my heart goes out to those who’ve been affected, either through the virus or the shut downs. Until it’s over, I’ll just keep praying and doing my part to keep me, my family, and everyone around me safe.

We’re revving up for the annual IWSG Anthology Contest!

It doesn’t open until May 6, but here’s a sneak peek.

The genre – science fiction!

And the amazing judges –

Dan Koboldt, author and #SFFpit founder

Lynda R. Young, author

Colleen Oefelein, agent, The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Damien Larkin, author

Ion Newcombe, editor and publisher

Julie Gwinn, agent, The Seymour Agency

David Powers King, author


The IWSG Instagram prompts for April:


Really Great Villains by Jemi Frasier

Alex and I share a love of SF & Fantasy movies and books. Among my favourites are LotR, HP, Firefly, BSG, McCaffrey’s PERN, and of course Star Wars & Star Trek.

One of the commonalities we find in these stories is a really great villain. Sauron. Voldemort & the Death Eaters. Reavers. Thread. 1st Order/Vader/Palpatine. Cylons. The Borg.

Some adjectives for those great villains might be: subversive, sneaky, vile, insidious, unscrupulous, relentless. Great villains made for good reading and good watching, but aren’t so great in real life.

My book, Dancing With Dementia, deals with real life and a real life villain. Dementia. Like Thread from PERN, our villain isn’t human or alien, it’s not sentient. But it is a villain nonetheless and those adjectives apply.

Like any good story, Dancing With Dementia showcases our battle against our villain. We may not have lightsabers, wands, or phasers, but we do have our own weapons. Patience and a sense of humour are probably the most effective for us.

Having the Force on our side would be a good thing though!

It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Jemi Fraser’s DANCING WITH DEMENTIA, Recognizing and Coping with the Early Stages of Dementia MC Book Tours Blog Tour through today.
The author is offering a tour-wide international giveaway of an Amazon Gift Card. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

Recognizing and Coping with the Early Stages of Dementia by Jemi Fraser
ISBN-13: 978-1-9991258-1-3

Dementia and Alzheimer’s touch the lives of millions around the world, but so much is still unknown.
As first-generation Canadians, we didn’t recognize the early warning signs. We didn’t know the differences between regular aging and the early stages of dementia. We’ve made mistakes but we’ve learned a lot.
DANCING WITH DEMENTIA will help you:
•Identify those early warning signs
•Use visuals to improve communication
•Choose your words wisely
•Redirect and reassure
•Stay calm and cope with your own emotions
•Consider nursing home options
•Improve caregiver self-care
We’ve learned to dance the early steps of the disease with our love and laughter intact. If you are looking for help recognizing early signposts along with practical ways to cope with early Dementia and Alzheimer’s, this book is for you.

DANCING WITH DEMENTIA buy links:
Amazon.com              Amazon.ca          Apple Books       Barnes & Noble          Kobo

Add DANCING WITH DEMENTIA to your Goodreads shelf

Jemi Fraser writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction work focuses on the ways that dementia has impacted her family. Her fiction work varies from contemporary romance to suspense and flash fiction. Years as a teacher have taught Jemi that life is short and that happy endings are a must.
Jemi lives in Northern Ontario, Canada where snow is always a topic of conversation and the autumn leaves make everything better.
For more on Jemi and her writing, visit her following sites:

Amazon Page        BookBub      Goodreads       Facebook       Twitter       Quick Tips Videos

This tour-wide giveaway is for a $20 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open internationally. To enter the giveaway, just click on this LINK and follow the instructions.


When Bad Movie Adaptations Inspire New Stories

About 12 years ago, when my wife and I were still newlyweds, we spent many a weekend watching a ton of movies (her favorites and mine). Then one Friday night, we watched an adaptation of one of her favorite fantasy books. It seemed weird to me. Maybe something you’d see on the Disney channel, but not in theaters. So then we discussed movie adaptations, and why it seems so difficult for Hollywood to stick with the source material. Then, out of the blue, my wife gave me a challenge: “write something I would like”. You see, until that point, I was a fledgling writer who had only written a Sci Fi trilogy. She’s more into fantasy, especially of the fairytale persuasion. I thought about it. I took her up on it, but not as a rewrite of other fairy tales. That’s been done over and over to death. Something different. A discovery novel. It would star a princess. It would need magical creatures. Oh, and a dragon! Definitely needs a dragon. In six months, I drafted my first fantasy novel with my wife’s interests in mind. Luckily for me, she loved it, and she still loves it to this day. I’m curious how an adaptation of it would turn out?

If you want in on this magical goodness, The Dragon’s Heart is available now in paperback and ebook, on Amazon. Also, it’s free with Kindle Unlimited. Free is good.

A princess. A dragon. Their quest.
Terrible things happen whenever Princess Celesia falls in love—she blacks out and attacks her suitors, which makes an alliance with a more powerful nation impossible. Believing that she’s cursed, Celesia is given two choices: marry without love, or be responsible for her kingdom’s demise. Instead, she sneaks off in search of a remedy. She doesn’t make it far when she encounters a dragon who bears a curse of his own—he is a prince, desperate to reclaim his humanity before the dragon takes over. He's heard of a stone that can lift both of their curses, but neither of them can find it alone, and they’re not the only ones after it. An evil alchemist is intent on using it to steal the land’s magic and dominate the realm. Only together, with the help of an even greater magic, can Celesia and the dragon stop this evil, or be bound forever by their curses.

David was born in beautiful downtown Burbank, California where his love for film inspired him to write. His works include the internationally published YA Fantasy Woven and The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer. An avid fan of science fiction and fantasy, David also has a soft spot for zombies and the paranormal. He now lives in the mountain West with his wife and four children. Find David - Blog, Twitter, and Amazon

Find The Dragon's Heart on Amazon and Goodreads


New Releases!

Finding the Perfect Mate by Stacy McKitrick

Finding the Perfect Mate just got way more complicated.

Find it at iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Smashwords, and Goodreads

The Elusive by Pat Hatt

After thinking their long struggle had come to an end, Sally, Travis, and the others are thrust into more danger than ever before.

Find it on Amazon


How are you coping? Think you’ll enter the IWSG Anthology Contest? (Many of you have time to write now.) Who do you consider to be a really great villain? Has a bad movie adaptation ever inspired you? And if you’re doing the A to Z Challenge, good luck.
Special thanks to Tara Tyler for this badge and the prize in the mail:

Monday, March 23, 2020

Quarantine Music, Movie Release Changes, Music Review – Novena, and New Releases

Quarantine Music

What do you do when your tour is canceled due to the virus? You work on the next album!

Here is the first of several news songs/videos from Devon Townsend - Quarantine:



Movie Release Changes

With the world in crisis, one of the many things affected by the virus is the release dates of movies.
Many have been pushed back or taken off the table entirely.

According to JoBlo, Minions: The Rise of Gru is on indefinite hold:
“In response to the severity of the situation in France, we are temporarily closing our Illumination Mac Guff studio in Paris. With this decision we are abiding by the French Government’s guidelines and doing everything possible to slow the spread of the virus as we care for our artists and their families,” Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, said in a statement. “This means we will be unable to finish ‘Minions: The Rise of Gru’ in time for our planned global releases in late June and early July. While we all grapple with the enormity of this crisis, we must put the safety and protection of our employees above all. We look forward to finding a new release date for the return of Gru and the Minions.”

However, other movies are making themselves more available to movie goers: Bloodshot opened in theaters just over a week ago, but owing to the rather interesting situation we find ourselves in, Sony Pictures has announced that they will be making the film available for Digital purchase on March 24th for $19.99.
That might seem a lot, but considering the price of movie theater tickets, that’s a steal for a family and even a couple. I’ll be supporting and watching it when it comes available.


Onward is also available for $20 to watch now.
In two weeks, it will be free on Disney+.


Bummed your favorite con has been cancelled? Steven Arellano Rose, Jr. at A Far Out Fantastic Site lists several online cons you can attend both science fiction/comic book and genre writing related. Check it out!


Music Review: Novena – Eleventh Hour

Those of you who follow my ramblings know that I am a huge fan of progressive rock and metal. Bands like Rush, Yes, Dream Theater, Seventh Wonder, Haken and the like are without a doubt the cornerstone of my music passion.

So when I heard that Ross Jennings had a side project band named Novena, I was instantly intrigued. (For those that don’t know, and I’m assuming that’s all of you, Ross is the lead singer of Haken.)

A few weeks ago, Novena released their first full length album titled Eleventh Hour and it is everything a prog fan loves. With Ross singing lead vocals, it sounds like a Haken album (how can it not with his unique voice) but at the same time seems fresh and adventurous. Elements of jazz, Latin, rock, and death metal are interwoven to create a wildly entertaining record. Ross’s clean singing and incredible harmonies are interwoven with death metal growls placed at just the right moments to keep you wondering what direction each song will take.

One of the stand out tracks “Corazon” is a Latin infused prog masterpiece with salsa, death metal, and a way cool hand clap sequence. (It sounds super weird but it actually works.)

I’m so happy to see bands like Haken and Novena ushering prog metal into the 21st century and I’m excited to see what’s to come. This is a must buy for prog fans.

New Releases

This one is from a fellow Dancing Lemur Press author!

Gabe’s Guardian Angel By Beverly Stowe McClure

Gabe never asked for an angel…
Gabe Montana’s clumsy. He’s overweight, and he’s dyslexic. Worse yet, the bullies make his fifteen-year-old life even more miserable—so miserable he wants to die.
Charley, his guardian angel, says no to that idea, and comes up with a different plan. He’ll give Gabe self-confidence so he can solve his problems, not run away from them. But Gabe wonders why the angel doesn’t just help with the bullies. What’s with this self-confidence stuff?
Can Charley help Gabe stand on his own two feet? Will Gabe give up hope life can improve for him? Or will he finally listen to the angel’s advice?

Young Adult Fiction: Boys & Men / Loners & Outcasts / Bullying
Print ISBN 9781939844668 $15.95
EBook ISBN 9781939844675 $4.99
Find it on Barnes and Noble, Amazon, ITunes, Kobo, and Goodreads

Avenging Angels: The Wine of Violence by A. W. Hart, aka Charles Gramlich

Find it at Amazon

Realize Your Writing Dreams by Doreen McGettigan

Find it on Amazon





Ready for some new music? Got some new movies to watch at home? Picking up some new books? What have you been doing while the world is put on hold?

Be back April 1 for Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day – and we’ll be announcing the genre and judges for this year’s annual anthology contest!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Picard, Freaks, and Color Out of Space Reviews, Plus Ninja News

Show/Movie Reviews

Picard

Seven episodes in (ten total) and I can at last do a proper review of this series.

This series is a love letter to everyone who enjoyed Next Generation. Picard is such a great character and it’s always joyous to see him return to the screen.

Some find the series slow but I think the pacing is perfect. It gives the story and characters time to fully develop.

The characters are great and they are allowing them to grow and be fleshed out over the course of the series. None are perfect—they all come with baggage—but that makes them real. Raffi especially is a damaged person, but she still tries to do her best and the right thing.

Slight spoilers:

Dahj and Soji the daughters of Data? Now that is just awesome.

Seven of Nine is basically a ranger now and needs her own show. (And yes, Jeri Ryan is still hot.)

The interaction between Soji and the Romulan was the weakest part, but now that he’s shown his true colors and she knows who she is, it’s kicked up into a higher gear.

Episode seven featured Picard visiting Will Riker, Deanna Troi, and their daughter. In another series (like Discovery) they would be bitter and hateful and bad things would happen because Picard visited them. But no, true to the pureness of Rodenberry’s vision and spirit, Riker and Deanna were happy and still in love. It was touching to watch.

Unlike Discovery, this is a show I will watch again. Highly recommended! And I can’t wait to see how it ends.


Freaks

Released in 2018, this small film stars Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Lexy Kolker, and Grace Park (Boomer/Athena/Number Eight from Battlestar Galactica.)

Young Chloe is not allowed to leave the house. Her father has barricaded them in, leaving only for food and supplies, telling her the world outside is very dangerous. But there’s something unique about Chloe and you wonder what is real and what’s not. What’s up with the ice cream truck outside? What happened to her mother? What is really going on?

This film is a unique take on the mutant genre. It’s small scale and intimate, and you can tell the creators and crew cared very much and made the most of their tiny budget. (The emphasis is on the characters, but the special effects are still well done.) While not a great film, that caring translates into a really solid film that will keep you guessing for a while.



Color Out of Space

An alien invasion movie based on a Lovecraft story of the same name.

The daughter is a practicing wiccan, the oldest son a stoner, the youngest son has security issues, mom has cancer, and dad (played by Nicolas Cage) is your typical bat-crap crazy Nicolas Cage. Oh, and they live on a remote estate, a hippie also lives on the land (Tommy Chong!), and they raise alpacas.

And things only get weirder when the meteor lands on their property and the alien entity starts to spread…

The movie is very trippy. It has elements of Annihilation and The Thing, and while the original story was set about a hundred years ago, this one is firmly planted in today’s time and modernized.

There’s not a lot I can say about it without giving the story away. That and the weirdness is difficult to describe. You have to see it to believe it!

If you like trippy films or just enjoy watching Nicolas Cage go even more bat-crap crazy, then this is an interesting movie to watch.


Ninja News

It was another great Insecure Writer’s Support Group post day! Thanks to all who participated and commented – and to those who offered to co-host. We are good to go the next two months.
We will also be announcing the genre and judges for the next IWSG Anthology Contest on April 1! You’ll have to wait until May 6 for the theme and the opening of the contest though. But the theme is really cool and we have seven awesome agents/authors/editors lined up as judges.


Write Club starts soon!
DL Hammons is looking for judges – see his site for more information and to contact him.

The A to Z Challenge starts April 1. (Which is also April Fool’s Day and the next IWSG post – it’s going to be busy in the blogging world!)
Visit the site to sign up and get the scoop on upcoming dates.




According to JoBlo, shooting will start soon for the Hawkeye series. Jeremey Renner will reprise his role as Hawkeye. The series is set to appear on Disney+.

Also on JoBlo, there is early praise for A Quiet Place: Part II:
The release of A QUIET PLACE: PART II is mere weeks away and one of the biggest questions leading up to its upcoming release is if it can possibly live up to the nerve-racking inducing horror and tension of the first film? It might be time for some of us to rest easy because the film recently screened for the first round of press and it appears that we're in for a sequel that isn't a shameless cash grab and it more than justifies its existence.


Have you been watching Picard? Seen either Freaks or Color Out of Space? Excited about the next IWSG Anthology Contest? Participating in either the A to Z Challenge or Write Club?
My next post will be March 23.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, March Movie Preview, the Media Explosion, and New Releases

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.


My awesome co-hosts today are Jacqui Murray, Lisa Buie-Collard, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and Shannon Lawrence!

Today’s question - Other than the obvious holiday traditions, have you ever included any personal or family traditions/customs in your stories?

You know, I really can’t think of any. Not outside of my own religious beliefs. I wouldn’t call those customs though – those are God’s laws. I guess if I wrote outside of science fiction, traditions and customs would come up more often.

What about you?


IWSG Instagram schedule for March:



The EXPLOSION OF MEDIA!

Alex is so generous with his very visible blog -- thanks so much for letting me come over today!

There are sooooo many ways to be entertained these days. And yet, we can still look at it all and say "There's nothing good on..." I recently posted about my frustration with the movie industry's money over matter attitude and their inability to take risks HERE. But this could just be me?

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY!

I watch movies from every generation, from B&W to CGI. And there are some I can watch over and over again--the ones with amazing characters and stories that surprise you or warm your heart. There are also several vividly captivating books that urge me to write screenplays for them, many Indies, that I want to share with the world!

With all the streaming media outlets these days (Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc) with more sprouting all the time (Disney +, Apple TV, YouTube, etc), not to mention social media platforms where amateurs get discovered, you'd think it would be easier to submit quality writing and make a movie!

It's a great time to be a writer! But with all these public venues, tons of wannabes emerge making it harder for them to wade through all the attention-seekers as they try to choose what will propel them to the top of the heap and get more subscriptions, clicks, and likes.

So if you've ever thought about turning your fabulous underappreciated work(s) into a movie, go for it! Look for contests to enter. And if you don't know how, you can collaborate. Movies and Series are big deal productions, more help means more connections and exposure. And hopefully the producers that be will take more chances on Indies like us! We are the root of new and exciting material!

What book(s) would you like to see on the big or small screen? 


Taking Back Beast World, Phase 2. Disney/Pixar's Onward comes out Mar 6 with a setting eerily close to BEAST WORLD. Excited to see the Suburban Fantasy World setting of my books come to life... So if you like background, you'll love BEAST WORLD!

How to find:
twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks
newsletter: tara tyler news

Ninja News

New release from our IWSG Admin!

About Us by Elizabeth Seckman

Find it on Kobo and Smashwords and Amazon for free!

Available now -

The Executioner by Murees Dupè 

Find it on Amazon and Smashwords







March Movie Preview

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

6 –

Onward
Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there.
Director: Dan Scanlon
Stars: Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Ratzenberger
In addition to being similar to Tara's Beast World, it's getting lackluster reviews. Pass!



The Way Back
A former HS basketball phenom, struggling with alcoholism, is offered a coaching job at his alma mater. As the team starts to win, he may have a reason to confront his old demons. But will it be enough to set him on the road to redemption?
Director: Gavin O'Connor
Stars: Ben Affleck, Janina Gavankar, Michaela Watkins, Da'Vinchi
The unbelievable true story of Batman forgetting the entrance to the Batcave! Or just another sport drama.



13 –

Bloodshot
Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers.
Director: Dave Wilson
Stars: Sam Heughan, Eiza González, Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce
Take one part Universal Soldier, the villain from Iron Man III, a helping of The Punisher, and a sprinkling of Wolverine and you have Bloodshot. (Yeah, and we'll probably see it anyway...)





20 –

A Quiet Place: Part II
Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
Director: John Krasinski
Stars: Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, Cillian Murphy, Noah Jupe
The sequel to the greatest mime movie ever made!





27 –

Mulan 
A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney's 'Mulan.'
Director: Niki Caro
Stars: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Jet Li, Li Gong
No goofy dragon voiced by Eddie Murphy? I'm all right with that...







What traditions have you placed in your stories? Would one of your stories or books make a great movie? And what movie catches your eye this month?
We need at least one more co-host for April and a couple for May! (May co-hosts get the early scoop on the anthology contest!) Let me know if you can help either month.

Monday, February 24, 2020

New Trailers – Diablo 4, Stranger Things 4, and more! Plus Kvelertak – Splid, Movie News, IWSG Anthology Contest, Mini-Alex, and Movie Trivia Answers

Trailers!

Some great trailers for movies, shows, and games in the past couple months!

Diablo 4
Why aren’t the game animators allowed to make a movie? Why?!?!?!?! It would look so amazing.



Stranger Things season four
I knew he was alive!



Black Widow
This looks like a lot of fun. Just forget that she’s dead.



Wonder Woman 1984
And in case you totally missed this one!




Kvelertak - Splid

Here are the ingredients to make your own brand new Kvelertak record:

1 new lead singer
3 guitarists
1 cup of piss and vinegar
A bunch of attitude
1 tbs AC/DC
1 tbs Slayer
1 tbs Sex Pistols
1 tsp of blackened Norwegian metal
1 tsp of progressive metal
Shake liberally

The result is Kvelertak, doing what they do only much stronger this time around. This is their best album since their absolutely stellar debut back in 2010. It’s a party album, a workout album, and a crank it to eleven album in the car.
These guys throw so many musical influences into the blender and it works to perfection. Most of the singing is in Norwegian, so I have no idea what the songs are about (could be evil, could be puppies), but it doesn’t really matter when the finished product is so much fun and crazy.


Movie News

RiffTrax announced their live shows this year!
Hobgoblins on June 11.
Amityville 4: The Evil Escapes on October 21.
The Kickstarter campaign is open for fans to make these films happen. Which they did in just nineteen hours!! Too awesome.


Production begins on season two of The Witcher, adding seven new cast members. According to JoBlo:
The Witcher became an enourmous hit late last year for Netflix with 76 million households watching at least a few mintues of the show. Because of this, the streamer was able to declare it as the service's biggest first season for an original series ever. The show is based on the popular book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski and it explores the legend of Geralt of Rivia.

The Golden Schmoes were announced:
Avengers: Endgame was the favorite movie of the year.
Worst movie of the year – Cats. (And it hits DVD next month if you are just dying to know how they could possible screw up such an iconic play!)
Best director – Sam Mendes for 1917. (At least fans got it right.)
Most over-rated film of the year – The Lion King. (Yes!)
Most under-rated – Alita: Battle Angel. (Considering how popular the graphic novel and animated film, this movie really got overlooked.)
Biggest surprise was Joker. And Joaquin Phoenix scored best actor.
And most memorable scene in a film was Captain America lifting Mjolnir in Avengers: Endgame. (With Iron Man’s ‘snap’ second.)
For a full list of winners, see JoBlo’s site.

Knives Out comes out on DVD February 25. This was a great whodunit film – you definitely want to see it. Just buy the DVD – trust me, you’ll enjoy it!

Jumanji: The Next Level comes out March 17 on DVD. Not quite as good as the first, the sequel was still a lot of fun.

Tara Tyler’s Cradle Rock has been re-released!
Why is this movie news?
Because the upcoming Pixar film Onward is really similar to Tara’s Beast World.
And with the re-release of the first two books in the trilogy (her publisher folded and she had to publish the third one on her own last year), Tara is taking back Beast World!
Find Cradle Rock on Amazon
Oh, and JoBlo reviewed Onward and gave it six out of ten, saying it was good but definitely not one of Pixar’s better films.
Hope that gives you a smile, Tara!

IWSG Annual Anthology Contest

This May, we will be announcing the next IWSG Anthology Contest genre and theme. We’ll probably taunt you with the genre the month prior, so be watching in April.

This will be our sixth contest. Sixth! Amazing how far the IWSG has come.

Thanks to all of you for making it possible!




Mini-Alex in Snow

Something strange fell from the sky last week. We almost never see it!



Movie Trivia Answers

It was all about comic book and graphic novel movies – name the film from the tagline, star, and year.

They destroyed everything he had, everything he was. Now, crime has a new enemy and justice has a new face. Liam Neeson 1990 - Darkman
Justice is coming to all of us. No matter what we do. Jackie Earle Haley 2009 - Watchmen
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Alec Baldwin 1994 - The Shadow
In the absence of light darkness prevails. Ron Perlman 2004 - Hellboy
Believe in angels. Brandon Lee 1994 - The Crow
Last time he fought against his sworn enemies....This time he will fight with them. Wesley Snipes 2002 - Blade II
First contact. Last stand. Daniel Craig 2011 - Cowboys and Aliens
A step beyond science fiction. John Candy (voice) 1981 - Heavy Metal
Judgement is coming. Karl Urban 2012 - Dredd
Still Armed. Still Dangerous. Still Got It. Bruce Willis 2010 - RED
She alone has the power to save paradise. Tanya Roberts 1984 - Sheena
His time has come. Hugh Jackman 2017 - Logan
In the future, the odds of survival are 1000 to 1. That’s just the way she likes it. Lori Petty 1995 - Tank Girl
Freedom forever! Natalie Portman 2005 - V for Vendetta


Any of those trailers get you excited? Ever heard of Kvelertak? Surprised by the Golden Schmoes winners? Ready for another IWSG Anthology Contest? See any snow this year? And did you get any of the movies correct?

See you March 4 for the next IWSG posting!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Birds of Prey Review, What’s Wrong with Discovery, Aladdin Review, Movie Trivia, and More!

Movie Reviews

Birds of Prey

Joker has dumped Harley and she’s trying to find her place in life. In other words, without Joker, Harley is a big target and everyone wants her dead.
This film capitalizes on the best part of Suicide Squad – Harley Quinn. She’s fearless, resourceful, and quite reckless. But it’s still the simple things in life she loves - her pet hyena, Bruce Wayne; an egg breakfast sandwich made to perfection; and smashing people with a bat.
The story is told with some flashbacks (Harley style) and the names of villains blasting across the screen (along with their grievances against Harley) and it lets you know you are in for a fun ride.
Yes, it is rated R. Not as foul as Deadpool. But it is violent and contains language.
Ewan McGregor as the bad guy chews up scenery. He obviously had fun just going for it, over the top and all, with the role.
The film is all about Harley, but it’s fun watching the Birds of Prey come together. Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell are great in their roles.
And the big rumble in the end is awesome.
I didn’t love it, but I really enjoyed it.
Recommended.

Aladdin

Another Disney cash-grab based on the 1992 cartoon.
This one is a step above The Lion King. A lot of it is word-for-word identical to the first, but they did change it up a little. (Probably to make it longer more than anything else.) It’s very colorful and with great special effects. And Guy Ritchie directs! Now that’s surprising.
Will Smith does his best to do his own spin on Genie, which I appreciated. Ultimately, Robin Williams still did it best.
The musical numbers don’t work as well in this live action version as they did in the animated film. Back in the 50’s and 60’s it worked, but today it just doesn’t.
Another drawback is the monkey Abu. Just like The Lion King, the realistic CGI monkey has no expression. Abu was so expressive and funny in the first movie. Here, he’s just a monkey. Jafar’s parrot was also just a parrot.
And of course, you sit through it knowing all the words to the songs and half of the dialogue and enduring the overwhelming sensation that you’ve seen it all before.
Fun film if you’ve never seen the original, but if you have, just go watch it instead.

Why Discovery is a Dumpster Fire

When CBS announced that Star Trek: Discovery would only be available on a pay streaming service called All Access, my initial thought was no. Or more accurately “Hell no!” Then they announced a new show called Star Trek: Picard and I knew I would have to eat my words.
While being extorted by CBS, I decided to give Discovery a whirl. Here are my ten reasons why this show is a dumpster fire. (Please note that I have only seen season one. I’m told it gets better, but that’s not setting the bar very high.)

1. No likable characters. The characters run the gamut from unlikable to downright annoying. It’s hard to root for these guys.

2. The radical Klingon redesign. This show supposedly takes place in the same universe as Enterprise, the original, and TNG. What idiot thought that completely changing one of the most recognizable races on the show was a good idea?

3. The Klingons mostly speak in their native tongue with subtitles. Look, I’m fine with subtitles, but the mouth prosthetics are horrible and so the actors sound like they are struggling with pronunciation. If you ever wore the full mouth plastic vampire teeth as a kid for Halloween, you know what I mean.

4. Plot holes that the Federation could fly an entire fleet through.

5. Ridiculous advanced tech for the time period. This show exists between Enterprise and ten years before the original. The tech is more advanced than Voyager. Holograms, cloaked fleets, spore Drive, and I could go on. It doesn’t fit!

6. The captain, who follows the orders of Starfleet, has the autonomy to bring a mutineer (who has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison) onto his ship and keep her as a crew member. No one in Starfleet has a problem with this.

7. Cussing. I don’t need it in Star Trek. Just because you can add in the F bomb does not make the show more adult.

8. Where is the humor? It would be great to be a crewman on TNG, DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise. But it is a joyless, soul-sucking experience to be aboard Discovery.

9. Other than Michael, I don’t know any of these characters. It’s like they were so busy trying to tell a mediocre to poor story that they forgot that the heart of Star Trek is rooted in growing familiar and ultimately feeling a sense of family with the characters.

10. I will never re-watch any of these episodes. That’s sad! I’ve re-watched the original series, TNG, DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise so many times, but Discovery is a misfire in almost every way.

Conclusion – total dumpster fire!

Ninja News

Available February 13 on audio-
Dragonfly Summer by J.H. Moncrieff
Jo Carter never thought she'd return to Clear Springs, Minnesota. But when the former journalist receives a cryptic note about the disappearance of her friend Sam twenty years before, she's compelled to find out what really happened.
Find it on Audible

MC Book Tours
Mason Canyon, who runs Thoughts in Progress, a book review/feature site, also does book tours - MC Book Tours.
She’s putting together tours for two of our friends and their upcoming releases:
Murder, Just Because by Yolanda Renée
Dancing With Dementia by Jemi Fraser
If you can host either author, contact Mason!

Movie Trivia

Going for the comic book/graphic novel movies!
Name the movie from the tagline, star, and year.

1: They destroyed everything he had, everything he was. Now, crime has a new enemy and justice has a new face. Liam Neison 1990
2: Justice is coming to all of us. No matter what we do. Jackie Earl Haley 2009
3: Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? Alec Baldwin 1994
4: In the absence of light darkness prevails. Ron Perlman 2004
5: Believe in angels. Brandon Lee 1994
6: Last time he fought against his sworn enemies....This time he will fight with them. Wesley Snipes 2002
7: First contact. Last stand. Daniel Craig 2011
8: A step beyond science fiction. John Candy (voice) 1981
9: Judgement is coming. Karl Urban 2012
10: Still Armed. Still Dangerous. Still Got It. Bruce Willis 2010
11: She alone has the power to save paradise. Tanya Roberts 1984
12: His time has come. Hugh Jackman 2017
13: In the future, the odds of survival are 1000 to 1. That’s just the way she likes it. Lori Petty 1995
14: Freedom forever! Natalie Portman 2005


Since February 17 is a holiday, I won’t be around – I'll post again on February 24.
Seen Birds of Prey or Aladdin? Think Discovery is a hot mess? Helping with either blog tour? And do you know any of the trivia answers?