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.