Monday, March 9, 2020

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

Show/Movie Reviews


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.


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.


The Happy Whisk said...

Hey Alex! I haven't seen any of those, no. I've been baking my buns off the last few days so it's mostly been, kitchen, kitchen, kitchen with a few YouTube episodes of Hot Ones, tossed in throughout the weekend.

Wishing you a fun week ahead. Cheers and boogie boogie.

Elephant's Child said...

Good luck to those with more energy and creativity than I can muster who are participating in either the A to Z or Write Club.

Ray Rousell said...

Not sure if I'm enjoying Picard or not, I am only 3 episodes in though, so I should give it more time. It is pretty slow, almost as slow as poor old Patrick Stewart is moving around, but the guys nearly 80 so you gotta give him that I suppose???

Amelia said...

I've been watching Picard and like it very much actually. Definitely even more so than Discovery, which I thought was also quite good. I don't have any problems with the pacing, and I like watching all the old TNG and Voyager folks make appearances. I hope we won't have to wait long for the next season once this season ends (only 3 episodes to go!)

Pat Hatt said...

I don't even know what the last Cage movie I watched was. He sure is stuck in direct to whatever land. Trippy and weird sounds interesting at least to see what he's up too.

April will be a busy month for bloggers indeed

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, ALex!

Based on your review, Freaks seems like a film I would enjoy. I am a fan of sci-fi mystery thrillers, and ever since the Roger Corman era I have admired small, low budget projects that manage to entertain and tell an interesting story. Young Lexy Kolker looks like an up-and-coming actress who is going places. She was in half a dozen episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

I am also eager to see Color Out of Space because I like alien invasion stories. I can tolerate Nick Cage better than most. I like his style. To me he is the 21st century Jimmy Stewart. I remember co-star Joely Richardson from her 100 episodes on Nip/Tuck.

Have a super week, good buddy Alex!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

My husband is dying to watch Picard, but it looks like it's just airing on a station we don't get (he hoped it would make it to YouTube TV, but doesn't look like that's in the cards yet).

Mason Canyon said...

I’ve only seen one episode of Picard but I enjoyed. Got to get time to get caught up on it. As for Nicolas Cage, his movies seem to be crazier and crazier.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ivy, don't bake your buns completely off.

Ray, he is almost eighty! Keep watching, it continues to pick up the pace.

Amelia, I know!

Pat, he does do a lot of straight to video. Do we even still call it that?

Shady, yes, Lexy Kolker has been in a ton of stuff, especially for one so young.

Elizabeth, no, just CBS All-Access right now.

Joanne said...

This whole batch of movie stuff is not in my wheelhouse. How about Emma - a little Jane Austen (not in outer space! Though that could be a future project).
I do look forward to reading A to Z blogs - they are fun. March winds doth blow..I am ready for spring. Have a good week

Jo said...

I used to enjoy doing A to Z but just don't have time any more. I would love to have seen or to see Picard. He always does a marvellous job. I have missed a lot of those Star Trek movies or Next Generation, guess we need two TVs after all.

Are you doing A to Z this year Alex or are you too busy as well?

The Happy Whisk said...

Haha! I won't. Hahaha.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I'll pass on these movies for now. I think it's time for Mr. Seckman to watch some rom coms anyhow. LOL

Nilanjana Bose said...

I'm going through a dry spell re films, now that the son's not around to prod me. Nose into books rather than in front of screens.

I'm signed up for the A-Z, but am woefully ill-prepared, firmly in pantzing territory as of now.

Have a great week!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yeh for positive reviews for Freaks - already had on my To Watch list - and Quiet Place II.

Watched a movie called Sweetheart over the weekend - pretty good castaway/survival movie. Kind of fell apart at the end though.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I cried during that episode of Picard. It was so wonderful to see Deanna and Will.

Christine Rains said...

I've seen the first episode of Picard and loved it. Wish I had the streaming service to watch it. I'd like to see the two movies too. When I can find a moment! =P Have a terrific week, Alex. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, not doing it this year. I just can't keep up anymore.

Nila, good luck!

Christine, I hate paying extra, but no way I was going to miss it.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I like how they almost immediately let you know that the girls are Data’s daughters yet it only serves to heighten the suspense. Alex, I’m experiencing difficulties trying to comment. Sorry if they’re multiple comments. Please delete them if that’s the case. Thanks.

kaykuala said...

Hi Alex, not had a chance at Picard. Perhaps later if it appears on YouTube. Hopefully will join in at the A to Z this coming month.


Jacqui Murray said...

Missed this series. I love StarTrek but not necessarily TNG. Still, I need to find this show. Thanks, Alex.

Patricia Josephine aka Patricia Lynne said...

April 1st is also my wedding anniversary. It's going to be an insane day for me. LOL

Liz A. said...

So, I don't like trippy films. But I'd be willing to see Color out of Space if it's worth it. Is it worth it?

Tyrean Martinson said...

Hey Alex,
Many thanks for all of your reviews! I'm behind, as usual, but it's okay. I've been rewatching reruns of Chuck, but someday I'll catch up with Picard! (BTW, I did finally watch the Mandalorian and I loved it!)
Happy Writing! said...

The A to Z comes around too quickly.
Have a great week, Alex.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm really enjoying Picard as well! That episode with Riker/Troi was so full of good!! I'm also finding the music in the series is so well done. It's a part of the whole and enhances the acting. Great show!!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Like Discovery, I'll watch Picard when it shows up on DVD (which means it'll probably be a Christmas gift). I have so much stuff to watch and read, I'm in no hurry.

J E Oneil said...

Man, why does it have to be on stupid CBS All Access? There are so many other streaming services that I actually have access to!

I want to see both those movies. Although considering Nic Cage's track record, I have some trepidation about Color Out of Space.

Yolanda Renée said...

Nope, not into any of those. Although Picard's new dig sounds like fun. It's just time, not enough, never is!

Rhonda Albom said...

I haven't done AtoZ in years, almost forgot all about it. Best thing for me was all the cool people I met (like you Alex). But my format has changed too much, my posts are too long detailed.

As for the rest, none of those series appeals to me, but I am sure my husband will watch Picard.

Sandra Cox said...

Hope all is well in your corner of the world, Captain Ninja.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Joylene, just one comment - you're good.

Jacqui, enjoy it on CBS All-Access.

Patricia, you will be busy...

Liz, it was worth it, but I don't mind trippy, science fiction films.

Tyrean, glad you enjoyed it!

Jemi, yes!

JE, this is definitely one of his better ones.

Rhonda, we did meet through the Challenge. Yes, your posts would lose something if you shortened just for the Challenge.

Sandra, it is!

DMS said...

I need to watch Picard. Sounds fantastic. :)

Truedessa said...

Happy Monday,

I wanted to watch Picard but, I couldn't justify paying. (sigh)

I do enjoy Jeremy Renner's acting so, that might prove interesting.

I finally watched Knives Out, it was a bit slow moving but, enjoyable. I would def recommend it.

Have a wonderful week...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Sorry but I haven't watched any of these. I've been watching The Stranger on Netflix. I like it so far.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Yes, I'm curious about the next Anthology Contest. They've all been so good. We'll know soon.

John Wiswell said...

The Color out of Space was such messy fun! Nicolas Cage was at his cheesiest in years, which I definitely needed in the middle of all the gross cosmic horror shenanigans.

Andrew Leon said...

I still have never seen the last two season of TNG.
I suppose I should do that sometime.

I haven't decided about whether I want to spend the time watching Color or not.

Murees Dupè said...

A bat-crap crazy Nicholas Cage could be interesting. I associate him with action movies, or playing very serious characters. So it will be interesting to see him do something else.

Jenni said...

I haven't seen any of these, but I think the Trekkies I know might like Picard. Looking forward to the big announcement and IWSG next month! How cool that's in on April Fool's!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Truedessa, glad you enjoyed it.

Beverly, in less than a month!

John, that's why it worked!

Andrew, how did you miss those?

Murees, it's definitely something else!

Chemist Ken said...

My wife and I saw the Invisible Man this weekend, and we both enjoyed it. Nice mix of thrills and strategy.

Birgit said...

I am loving Picard and don’t watch STD at all. I think I shall pass on those films but Freaks makes me think of that great film from 1933(1932??) called Freaks. I am sitting out The A to Z Challenge again. I am enjoying Picard on my new Smart much clearer than my old tv that was giving up the ghost. People were looking green and it was like looking through an old iris shot from the silent era. I noticed the underwater look was beginning to come on board to so my 1997 tv went bye bye

Lynda Dietz said...

Picard sounds wonderful! STNG has always been my favorite series, and I love a happy ending for Will and Deanna. I may have to bite the bullet and pay to watch this one.

nashvillecats2 said...

Much about you write about we don't get here but I do so enjoy reading your news and reviews.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I doubt I'll get to see those movies - but you highlight them for us. I hope DL get some support for the Write Club - it's always had a lot of interested writers ... and he and his wife do great stuff supporting the challenge. A-Z ... I'm not sure for this year ... we shall see! Cheers and thanks for the updates - Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ken, I've heard it's really good.

Birgit, that television needed to retire.

Lynda, you will love Picard then!

XmasDolly said...

I have looked all over and was wondering by some long-shot do you happen to know about that fairly new TV Show called "Manifest"? It's off the air ever since, "The Voice" came back on. I love that show & do you happen to know why it went off the air? I mean are they over for the season? I don't know why there was only a few episodes on for pity sakes. Also, I'm thinking about taking up my book again. It's not quite finished, but I know I have to type it up. It's very hard to read or write because it's about my life & the things I went through, but I really want to get it published to help other women who have been battered etc. I was wondering if your Insecure Writer’s Support Group is that for people like me??? Thanks my friend & if you'll answer at your leisure I sure do appreciate it. Have a great day!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Ooooo, glad to hear that about Quiet Place II. Really like the first one. I know how the second movie rarely lives up to the first. The second was filmed in my area, around Akron, and Buffalo, NY, which also interests me.

Loni Townsend said...

We've been watching Picard. It brings smiles to my face when I see the old favorites come back to the screen. :)

Spacer Guy said...

Awesome series! I've been watching ST Picard and find myself getting drawn into the plot lines. All is never what it seems which is great, cos like the characters are so diverse and trekking back and forth... Its hard trying to be logical and join the dots, haha

Mary Kirkland said...

I want to see Picard and one of these days I will start watching it.

Susan Kane said...

We haven't ventured out to Picard at all. Just need to tweak my Amazon Prime movies, I guess.

Seeing Nicholas Cage go bat crazy is always worth the money.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Totally agree with you about Picard. I actually have tears in some of those scenes and I love every single character. I am so glad we get a season two with Guinan.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I follow Jeremy Renner on Instagram, so I wasn't surprised about the news regarding his Marvel series. He lives over in Tahoe, which isn't too far from where I live (a day's drive more or less) and has been working on a cabin there. That and he got a new dog that he calls his precious.

Picard seems to be a story of broken people. Troi's wig looked terrible, but it was nice to see her if even, for a moment, I didn't recognize her because she looks so completely different now. She definitely is not as well-preserved as Seven of Nine. It's also strange that so many of the characters from Next Generation had tragedy. I wonder how much of that is Michael Chabon, because he loves to write tragedies into his stories.

I'm going to check out that Color out of Space movie. Lovecraftian stuff is interesting, even if some of it is hard to watch.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Marie! No idea why that show is off the air. There are plenty of people in the IWSG who could help you and a ton of resources at the site. We also have a Facebook group if you don't want to join the monthly blog post group.

Catharina, that's cool!

Loni, same here!

Susan, it is! The Wicker Man was one of the worst movies ever but worth it to see him go crazy in a bear suit.

Cal, that show knows how to please its fans.

Michael, His Precious - funny! I actually thought Marina Sirtis looked really good for her age.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

We don't have any of the streaming services, so we haven't seen a lot of the shows other bloggers talk about. Of the movies you mentioned, the wack-a-doodle one with Cage and Chong sounds kinda intriguing.

It'd be nice to dabble in the A to Z again sometime, but not this year. Not unless I could get away with rerunning my old posts from the one time I did participate... :)

Have a super weekend.

Tony Laplume said...

Picard is so good. Sorry you can't enjoy Discovery. The second season featured a lovely arc involving Michael and Spock reconciling, in a way Spock and Sarek never really got (unless you count the 2009 movie). said...

Thank you as ever for your kind remarks, Alex. You too take care. Nearly finished our first week in isolation. At least there is more time to write and to read 🤗

dolorah said...

I've almost forgot what April is like around the blogs. Busy busy.

I'm not watching Picard, and it does seem Cage is only doing weird stuff lately.

Have a great weekend Alex.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm looking forward to the announcement of the next IWSG Anthology theme. It's always a good way to get out of one's comfort zone and try something new.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! Thinking of you and going all is well!

Sandra Cox said...

I haven't seen Piccard but got to believe I'd love it.
Thanks for checking on the TP situation at Amazon! We're heading out to Walmart later. That should be fun. Snort.

Arlee Bird said...

You really got me intrigued about Color Out of Space. Sounds like a movie that has all the elements that I like and my wife and I are both Nick Cage fans. And the comparison to Annihilation makes me more interested since I did like that film a lot.

Thanks for mentioning The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Yes, I'll be participating (of course!). And, yes, April 1 is going to be a busy day for some of us bloggers.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My daughter has been praising Picard to me. Still not sold enough to pay for CBS. I'm not doing A to Z though it looks like I'll be stuck inside a lot through April.

Raimey Gallant said...

I had to skip the spoilers, because I was a big Next Generation (and Deep Space Nine) fan, and I def want to watch this. But with my busy social schedule, how will I find the time? ;) Jk jk jk, obviously my social calendar involves no one but me right now. Looking forward to hearing about the next IWSG anthology. I can't do much writing right now, but I like daydreaming about the IWSG themes, what kind of story I would write if I could. :)

Sandra Cox said...

Not familiar with Freaks or Color Out of Space but your reviews have piqued my interest.
YOU have a great one.

Shannon Lawrence said...

We watched the first episode of Picard free, but don't have that channel to keep watching. I think my husband would love it. He was very much a TNG fan. I'm hoping they'll eventually put it out on DVD.

Not sure how I feel about a Hawkeye series. Kind of meh.

Just watched Freaks today! It was interesting. Like you said, not great, but engaging in the way it leaves you wondering for most of the movie. I recently watched something that I think did a better job of the little girl monster thing, but I can't remember the title right now. It was also on Netflix.

Sandra Cox said...

Ooh, I didn't know about the Hawkeye series. That should be good!
YOU have a great day and stay healthy.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Tony, the second season is a little better.

Fundy, all is well!

Lee, you're welcome. And I think you will dig that film.

Shannon, glad you liked it.