Monday, April 19, 2021

Falcon and Winter Soldier, The Head, and New Mutants Reviews; Movie News; and Ninja News

Movies and Series Reviews

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

From the IMDB - Following the events of 'Avengers: Endgame,' Sam Wilson/Falcon and Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier team up in a global adventure that tests their abilities -- and their patience.
Sam and Bucky are reluctant comrades but working toward the same end.
The plot revolves around the guys going after a terrorist group called the Flag Smashers.
They’re also at odds with the new Captain America, crowned after the Falcon put the shield in a museum and it was taken out and given to someone new. You can tell there is something off about the new hero.
It’s a little dark but really good so far.

The Head

From the IMDB - Winter has fallen on the South Pole. A small team, known as the Winterers, will remain at the Polaris VI Antarctic Research Station to continue their innovative research, a crucial part in the fight against climate change.
It puts you in mind of John Carpenter’s The Thing ( and they actually watch it!) What happened to those who stayed the long winter? What horrors did the lone survivor witness?
There’s a strong sense of isolation and claustrophobia.
Acting and effects are really good and it’s very tense.
I’m only a couple episodes into it but it’s really intriguing so far.

The New Mutants

From the IMDB - Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.
Released last year, this is a mutants film on a small scale. Almost all of it takes place on the grounds of the facility. So there is an intimacy to the film.
Not everything jived with me, but they did faithfully follow the comics, which I applaud. But it was a bit odd only one person was running the entire facility.
It’s not a great or memorable film, but it did not deserve the bashing it received when released. I enjoyed it.

Other Movie and Series News

Finished the first season of Resident Alien and what a fun ride! Alan Tudyk is perfect for the role. And the ending guarantees a season two.

Just started watching The Nevers. Very interesting and I like the Victorian setting. Will review once I’ve seen a few more episodes.

According to JoBlo, the upcoming first season of Amazon’s Lord of the Rings cost $465 million dollars to make. Yes, you read that right!
They are planning on five seasons total and the other four will not cost that much as most of that went into costumes, props, and initial set design.
Still, that’s quite the gamble.

Production on Aquaman II starts later this year. In addition to Jason Momoa, it will star Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Temuera Morrison, and Pilou Asbæk.
The first film made over a billion dollars worldwide.

Ninja News

There were some great posts for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group on April 7.
One that was just awesome came from Lee Lowery - Trying to avoid controversy in your writing – good luck with that!
Little bit of language, but it’s hysterical.

Some new book releases:

Quilt-Ridden by Elizabeth Craig

Southern Quilting Mysteries | Book 14
Do good fences make good neighbors?
Miss Sissy is a talented member of the Village Quilters guild in tiny Dappled Hills, North Carolina. She’s also somewhat difficult to deal with as her new neighbor, Linton, discovered. Linton doesn’t understand why Miss Sissy’s house is almost entirely covered by thorny weeds like something out of Sleeping Beauty. Miss Sissy, on the other hand, doesn’t understand why that’s any of Linton’s business.
When Linton ends up very dead, Miss Sissy seems to be the obvious suspect. But Beatrice and the other Village Quilters are determined to discover the real murderer and clear Miss Sissy’s name—before the killer strikes again.

Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women by J.Q.Rose

Non-fiction eBook for Girls 10-13 years old
Empowering Girls to Dream Big!!

And don’t forget – Dark Matter: Artificial, an IWSG anthology comes out on May 4.
The same day we announce the new anthology contest!

Have you been watching Falcon and Winter Solider or The Head? Have you seen The New Mutants? Surprised by LOTR series’ budget? And do you want to hazard a guess what the next IWSG Anthology Contest will be…?
I will be mostly offline the last week of April. You nutty A-Z Challenge people have fun and I’ll see everyone on May 5 for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Reviews – Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Godzilla vs. Kong, April Movie Releases, and New Books

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 for the April 7 posting of the IWSG are PK Hrezo, SE White, Lisa Buie Collard, and Diane Burton!

April 7 question - Are you a risk-taker when writing? Do you try something radically different in style/POV/etc. or add controversial topics to your work?

Definitely not a risk taker or one for controversial stuff. I know what works for me and my readers and I stick with it.

Movie Reviews

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

Streaming on HBO Max.
I’m proud to say I liked Josh Whedon’s Justice League. It was like a comic book come to life. I do understand that if you weren’t a JL comic book fan, the experience might’ve fell short of your expectations.
Having seen Snyder’s other DC films and as a fan really enjoyed them, I thought they were too heavy-handed and lacked any humor at all. So, the idea of a four hour JL movie caused concern along with curiosity.
Keep in mind, this is not an extended version of the original film. This is an epic reimagining with heart, humor, and gigantic action. This is the film my eight-year-old self, reading his first JL comic book, always wanted to see.
All of the characters get screen time and development. Which may seem like a lot, but four hours goes by in the blink of an eye.
Only forty-plus minutes remain from the original film. And that forty-plus minutes has been repositioned and edited so the story is more coherent.
And if you think Darkseid (who gets screen time now) looks a little like Thanos – well, he came first in the comics! Marvel molded Thanos after Darkseid.
This is on The Avengers or Lord of the Rings epic level of film experience.If you are even slightly interested in DC, JL, or a good movie in general, this is a can’t miss event.
Highly recommended!

Godzilla vs. Kong

Plot is simple – Godzilla begins attacking. Kong can no longer be contained on Skull Island. They decide to take Kong to the entrance of a tunnel that will lead to Hollow Earth and hope he can guide them to an energy source that could defeat Godzilla. (Hey, you’re not watching a Godzilla film for realism!)
Similar to the previous film, the humans’ drama takes a back seat. It’s all about the monster fights, of which there are many. And more than just Godzilla and Kong.
In the Japanese movie, Kong wins, which never set with me. Atomic breath lizard equals flambe ape. But in this film, Kong is very smart and resourceful and knows how to avoid it.
The battles are epic. Lots of destruction.
Special effects are also top notch. It’s amazing the range of expression the manage on the two lead monsters.
Millie Bobby Brown and Kyle Chandler are the only two returning cast members. They do their best, but it really is all about the monsters.
I’d still place the first one as the best, just because the human element was better handled. They need a director who can bring out people while featuring the monsters. I really liked this one, just didn’t love it.
Watched this first night on HBO Max and will see it again very soon in the theater for the full experience.

New Releases

Rivals by Jennifer Lane

After landing her dream job as head volleyball coach at Ohio State University, Lauren Chase’s career has become a nightmare. Her only hope of saving her job is to recruit a star player to her team. Too bad the player’s twin has signed a football scholarship for OSU’s chief rival, Michigan. And too bad Michigan coach, Jeremy Trent, sends sparks through Lauren every time they cross paths. But no way will she pursue an attraction to a man who represents the university she hates.
Find it on Amazon

Reaching for Roots by Jemi Fraser

Cartoonist Emmy Rivera loves everything about the quirky town of Bloo Moose, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to put down roots. That’s never worked out for her in the past.
Find it on Amazon Apple, and Barnes and Noble,

April Movie Preview

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

9 -

A crew of astronauts on a multi-generational mission descend into paranoia and madness, not knowing what is real or not.
Director: Neil Burger
Stars: Colin Farrell, Tye Sheridan, Lily-Rose Depp |
They must’ve landed in 2020.

23 –

Mortal Combat
MMA fighter Cole Young seeks out Earth's greatest champions in order to stand against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe.
Director: Simon McQuoid
Stars: Lewis Tan, Jessica McNamee, Josh Lawson |
All I can hear is the battle cry – Mortal Combat!!!!

Are you a risk-taker when writing? Seen Zack Snyder’s Justice League? How about Godzilla vs. Kong? Picking up some new books? Either April movie interest you?