Monday, August 10, 2020

Movie Reviews – Bloodshot, My Spy, Greyhound, and more! Plus You Beneath Your Skin Movie, New Release Dates for Delayed Movies and New Book Releases

Movie Reviews

A slew of new movies (and one from last year) for you!

From the IMDB:
Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers.
One of the last movies to hit theaters this year before they all closed, it stars Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, and Eliza González.
The first twenty minutes are predictable and nothing new. Ray’s wife is murdered in front of him, he’s killed, re-animated with no memories, then starts to remember her murderer’s face. But after he pursues and kills the man, the movie takes a unique twist, elevating it above just average.
The effects are good and there are some tense action scenes. Diesel plays his standard tough-guy character, but he had fun doing it – and we have fun watching.
Definitely worth a rental – recommended.

My Spy

From the IMDB:
A hardened CIA operative finds himself at the mercy of a precocious 9-year-old girl, having been sent undercover to surveil her family.
An Amazon original movie starring Dave Bautista, Chloe Coleman, Parisa Fitz-Henley, Kristen Schaal, and Ken Jeong.
This film has all the potential to be corny and childish, but thanks to a sharp script, it never goes there. The characters have depth and real motivation, and the humorous scenes are genuinely funny.
Coleman excels as the precocious and very smart little girl. She succeeds where no one else ever has – she gets Bautista to care about other people, including his under-appreciated stakeout partner, Schaal.
This was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be – definitely recommended.


From the IMDB:
Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks.
An Apple TV original film starring Tom Hanks, Elisabeth Shue, and Stephen Graham.
We get a few minutes of history, and then the action begins and never lets up. If you like sea battles, this movie is for you.
Tom Hanks is really good and believable in the role.
Some of the special effects are good, some not so much. It was a little hit or miss.
Overall it was really enjoyable though. Recommended.

The Old Guard

From the IMDB:
A covert team of immortal mercenaries are suddenly exposed and must now fight to keep their identity a secret just as an unexpected new member is discovered.
Based on a graphic novel series, it stars Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, and Matthias Schoenaerts.
The science fiction – superhero aspect prompted me to check out this film despite a title that’s a bit lame. It’s more action–thriller–war than anything else.
It doesn’t offer us anything we haven’t seen before. The best I can say is that it’s serviceable and watchable.
Theron now has this badass, tough as nails, humorless character she likes to play.
There’s nothing really wrong with the movie but there’s nothing really great about it either.
Watch if you’re bored.
Or maybe go check out the graphic novels instead.

Rambo: Last Blood

From the IMDB:
Rambo must confront his past and unearth his ruthless combat skills to exact revenge in a final mission.
Starring Sylvester Stallone, Paz Vega, and Sergio Peris-Mencheta.
Wouldn’t call it a mission but hopefully it is the last.
The movie centers on a tough subject – human sex trafficking – which made parts of it a little uncomfortable.
Stallone’s in his seventies but still in shape and still able to do action-hero stuff. His character does make some dumb decisions, though. As do some of the other characters.
It really doesn’t seem like a Rambo film until the end. Then, you do get a spectacular sendoff.
If you’re a die-hard Rambo fan or just curious and have time to spare, worth a casual watch. 

You Beneath Your Skin as a Movie by Damyanti

My debut novel You Beneath Your Skin has been optioned for screens by Endemol Shine, and to mark the occasion, it is on Free Kindle promotions till 11th August. To approximate the kind of movie this book will be on screen, here are five movies that are similar to the book and deal with the topics it discusses: conflicted parenthood, acid attacks, family secrets and corrupt cops.

So here are five movies that have similarities to You Beneath Your Skin:

1. We Need to Talk About Kevin
Kevin's mother struggles to love her strange child, despite the increasingly dangerous things he says and does as he grows up. But Kevin is just getting started, and his final act will be beyond anything anyone imagined.

2. Chhapak
The trials and triumphs of Malti, an acid attack survivor. From the investigation of the attack to the court proceedings, the medical treatment to the emotional healing. Chhapaak is the story of the unquashable human spirit.

3. Mystic River
As the investigation of the death of a young woman tightens around three old friends, and ominous story unfolds that revolves around friendship, family and innocence lost too soon.

4. Night Falls in Manhattan
A newly elected District Attorney finds himself in the middle of a police corruption investigation that may involve his father and his partner.

5. Training Day
A rookie cop spends his first day as a Los Angeles narcotics officer with a rogue detective who isn't what he appears to be.

Damyanti's short fiction has been published or is forthcoming at Ambit, Litro, Griffith Review Australia, Pembroke magazine, Atticus Review, and other journals in the USA and UK. She serves as one of the editors of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her debut literary crime novel You Beneath Your Skin was published by Simon & Schuster in autumn 2019, and optioned for screen adaptation by Endemol Shine.
All the author proceeds from You Beneath Your Skin will support the education and empowerment of women at Project WHY and Stop Acid Attacks.
Find it on Amazon

Delayed Movies

The virus has thrown the movie and theater industry into chaos. With so many theaters closed (and many will never reopen), the studios needed to shuffle their release dates, sending a ripple into the next three years.

Here is a selection of films that have been bumped:

Avatar – moved from December 17, 2021 to December 16, 2022
A Quiet Place Part II – moved from March 8, 2020 to April 23, 2021
Black Widow – moved from May 11 to November 6, 2020
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – moved from May 7, 2021 to March 25, 2022
The Flash - moved from July 1, 2021, to June 3, 2022
Ghostbusters: Afterlife - moved from July 10, 2020, to March 5, 2021
Godzilla vs. Kong - moved from November 20, 2020, to May 21, 2021
The Matrix 4 - moved from May 21, 2021, to April 1, 2022
Minions: Rise of Gru - moved from July 3, 2020, to July 2, 2021
Morbius - moved from July 31, 2020, to March 19, 2021
Mulan - moved from March 27 to August 21 and then taken completely off the calendar
The New Mutants - moved from April 3 to August 28, 2020
No Time to Die - moved from April 10 to November 20, 2020
Shazam! 2 - moved from April 1, 2022, to November 4, 2022
Tenet - moved from July 17 to Labor Day weekend 2020
Wonder Woman 1984 - moved from June 5 to October 2, 2020

For a full list of movie releases affected, visit Vulture.

New Releases!

Mask of Ghosts by JH Moncrieff

No good deed goes unpunished.
Roxi thought the Balinese mask would make the perfect gift for her brother Jackson and his girlfriend Kate. Unbeknownst to her, a deadly curse was part of the package. A young woman slaughtered during a massacre haunts the mask. Her spirit wants revenge, and she's determined Roxi is the only one who can get it for her.
To free his sister from the mask's curse, Jackson must travel to Bali with Kate to solve the mystery behind the woman's murder. They've tangled with their share of angry ghosts in the past, but this one will pose the greatest threat yet.
Can they save Roxi from the vengeful spirit before more blood is spilled and Jackson's sister is lost forever?
This fifth installment of the award-winning GhostWriters series exposes the shadow lurking behind all that Balinese sunshine.

Find it at Amazon

Marly in Pieces by Cathrina Constantine

Marly refuses to believe her friend, Rae, committed suicide. Even though her wrists were slit, Marly knows her beautiful, vibrant bestie would never do that.
Even though the two had drifted apart, Marly and Rae made a blood promise long ago. Even in death, Marly intends to honor that vow.
Determined to find Rae’s killer, Marly faces a long list of potential suspects. It seems everyone has secrets or lies that they are covering up... including the boy she loves. Can Marly uncover the murderer’s identity before she becomes the next victim?

Find it at Amazon

The Happy War by Eve Gaal

After a successful blind date, Linda and Eric want to change the world.
Find it on Amazon

Molly Unplanned by Nicki Elson
Molly had a plan. But when her almost-fiance opts for a surprise Plan B, she’s left with no boyfriend, no money, and nowhere to live.
Find it on Amazon

And finally, this book is on sale! I read it last year and it is bat-crap crazy good.

Big Red On sale Aug. 10-14 for $2.99 Amazon eBook US,UK,CA, and AU

Have you seen any of those films? Picked up Damy's book? Bummed by the delay in releases? See any good books to pick up?
Quick update - I will see you all September 2 for the next IWSG post.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Insecure Writer’s Support Group and Favorite Movies with Jemi and Jacqui

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.

The awesome co-hosts today are Susan Baury Rouchard, Nancy Gideon, Jennifer Lane, Jennifer Hawes, Chemist Ken, and Chrys Fey!

August 5 question - Quote: "Although I have written a short story collection, the form found me and not the other way around. Don't write short stories, novels or poems. Just write your truth and your stories will mold into the shapes they need to be."
Have you ever written a piece that became a form, or even a genre, you hadn't planned on writing in? Or do you choose a form/genre in advance?

I knew I was going for science fiction and a full length story. I probably envisioned something a bit longer than what I came up with though. All four of my novels have come in on the shorter end of the word count for the genre. I could force it but that’s just the way I write.

I did try a poem once. I think a nice way to describe the results was one freaking big mess…

The IWSG Anthology Contest is ending soon!

Guidelines and rules:
Word count: 4500-6000
Genre: Science Fiction
Theme: Dark Matter
Submissions accepted: May 6 - September 2, 2020
How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (double-spaced, no footers or headers), previously unpublished story to admin @ before the deadline passes. Please include your full contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.
Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges.
Our judges: Dan Koboldt, Lynda R. Young, Colleen Oefelein, Damien Larkin, Ion Newcombe, Julie Gwinn, and David Powers King

Voyagers is on sale!
Pick it up for $2.99 on Amazon

Favorite Movies with Jemi Fraser

Thanks for inviting me to the blog today, Alex! Everyone loves movies so I thought I’d check in with my characters for their favourites!

• Former SEAL Sawyer (Reaching For Normal) is helping reintegrate wolves into Vermont. He watches wildlife documentaries. His favourite movie from childhood is Never Cry Wolf based on Farley Mowat’s book.
• Freelance writer Myla (Reaching For Normal) has never had a home or a family. She adores adventures and prefers to watch movies that are full of fun. Her favourite all-time movie is ET.
• Quinn (Reaching For Risks) owns a sporting goods store. He prefers adventure movies with happy endings, but don’t tell anyone that last part. His favourite movie as a kid was Jumanji.
• Darby (Reaching For Risks) owns a Victorian-style B&B. She’s a romantic at heart and adores rom coms. She has a special affinity for Gracie in Miss Congeniality.
• Rayce (Reaching For Everything) is a carpenter and furniture maker. He’d rather be in his workshop that in front of a screen, but when he does watch, give him a superhero movie any day.
• Kami (Reaching For Everything) is a former tennis pro whose life has been anything but easy. When she does have time for a movie, she’s all about the escape a movie provides. Princess/General Leia is her favourite character.

What about you? Anyone have the same tastes as my characters?

Welcome to Bloo Moose, Vermont where love is worth the risk! Small-town contemporary romance with an element of suspense. Each book is a stand-alone.

Reaching For Normal
She’s no damsel in distress. He’s no Prince Charming. But if they don’t team up it won’t be only wolves that’ll be dying.    Apple.     Kobo.    Google Play.

Reaching For Risks
One Reno List for the B&B. One Risk List for herself. One sexy retailer who should be the last one she wants.    Apple.    Kobo.     Google Play
Barnes and Noble.     Goodreads.     Bookbub

Reaching For Everything
Love means nothing in tennis. Can he prove to her that love means everything in life?     Apple.     Kobo.     Google Play

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.
Website                      Facebook                  Twitter           
Amazon                     BookBub                   Goodreads
Just Jemi blog

Top Ten Movies about Prehistoric Man By Jacqui Murray

With the publication of my latest novel, Against All Odds, Book 3 in the Crossroads trilogy and the fourth I've written about man's prehistory, I become maybe the most prolific writer in a genre with few readers. My stories are even more tangential because they deal with man's world a million or more years in the past. Don't even ask why I chose this subgenre. It's complicated, which is code for I don't understand.

Alex asked me to come up with ten movies from my genre and share them with his readers. Sure, why not? And then I found out how challenging this was. Yes, there are a lot of movies about prehistory but most of them are a fictionalized world not based on fact. I found few that even vaguely resembled what really happened Back Then so I settled for the ones that were popular.
Here's my list:

The Clan of the Cave Bear
A young Cro-Magnon woman is separated from her family and rescued by Neanderthals who then raise her as their own. This movie was based on Jean Auel's wildly popular and well-researched novel, Clan of the Cave Bear. Readers loved her vision of early man and devoured everything in her series, Earth's Children.
1 Million BC
Tumak is banished from his tribe and meets Loana (Raquel Welch) who belongs to a different tribe and must fight others to win her favor. Little about this tale is based on fact but it's a typical boy-meets-girl sort of love story.
10,000 BC
When warriors in what we now call the Ural Mountains capture the mate of a powerful mammoth hunter, he with his tribe embark on an odyssey to save her. Though not well grounded in fact and panned by critics, the audience loved it.
Quest for Fire
Three Neanderthal tribesmen search for a new fire source. Though Quest for Fire often lacks a factual foundation, it does attempt to present early man in a respectful light and was well accepted by the movie industry.
Ice Age
Set during the Ice Age, this computer-animated film tells the story (in a humorous way) of a sabertooth tiger, a sloth, and a woolly mammoth who find a lost human infant and try to return him to his tribe.
A Neolithic clan is attacked while their leader is away hunting. He returns to find most of his tribe dead, including his family, and wants revenge. This is based on a true story of the mummy called Iceman, one of the best known frozen humans in the world.
Ao, the Last Hunter
When his Neanderthal clan, including his wife and baby girl, are massacred, Ao leaves the North to join his twin brother. On his long and adventurous journey, he meets Aki, a Homo sapiens woman.
Walking with Cavemen
A BBC docudrama that portrays the life of early man.
Truth, I couldn't find a #10. Some movies made other people's Top Ten lists--His Prehistoric Past (directed by Charley Chaplin), Three Ages (directed by Buster Keaton), Early Man (directed by Nick Park)--but these focused more on humor and entertainment than a portrayal of man's far past. If you liked these, I'd love to hear from you in the comments.

That's it! If you love prehistoric fiction but want it to be accurate, check out my latest novel, Against All Odds. Here's a quick summary:
Set 850,000 years ago, a time when man populated most of Eurasia, our ancestors were a violent species, fully capable of addressing the many hardships that threatened his survival except for one: future man, a smarter version of himself, one destined to obliterate all those who came before.
Available digitally (print soon) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Summer 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning

Does the genre choose you or do you choose the genre? Want to watch some of those movies with the Bloo Moose crew? What are your favorite prehistoric movies? And are you entering the IWSG Anthology Contest – one month to go!
I’ll be back next Monday with a bunch of movie reviews for you!