Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Insecure Writer’s Support Group; Movie Reviews – Minions, Spiderhead, Maverick; and July Movie Preview

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 July 6 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton!

July question - If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?

I have a couple I would select, but my heart goes back to Shannara. I grew up on those novels, fell in love with fantasy because of the series. Give me the magic of that book world.

The IWSG Goodreads Book Club July picks are –

Reaching For Normal (Bloo Moose #1) by Jemi Fraser

Magic at Midnight by Ronel Janse van Vuuren

Awaken: A Love Story by Elizabeth Mueller, our new IWSG Admin!

What good is "perfect" without love?
There is no crime in the Balance. No aging. No death. Living on the outskirts of society, Daemos escapes his prison with dark secrets that threaten the Balance. Because of this evidence, his life is forfeit. N'reena is drawn to him and the impossible happens--she falls for him. Lives are at stake, especially their own! Can she keep him a secret, or will the Balance destroy them?

Find it on Kindle Vella
You can also watch the author read the first episode on YouTube

And we need co-hosts for August 3, September 7, and October 5! Please let me know if you can help any of those dates.

Movie Reviews

Minions: The Rise of Gru

Picking up where the last Minion movie left off, this film boasts quite the list of voice actors: Steve Carell (as Gru), Taraji P Henson, Jean-Claude Can Damme, Michelle Yeoh, Dolph Lundgren, Lucy Lawless, Danny Trejo, Alan Arkin, Julie Andrews, and Pierre Coffin – the director of all other Minion/Despicable Me movies but this one.
If you’ve enjoyed the last four movies, you’ll enjoy this one. Nothing deep, just a lot of Minions being silly. And really, that’s about all I expect from a Minion movie.
Several nods to character we see later in the Despicable Me series.
Quite a few laughs and a lot of shenanigans from the Minions, but as always, their hearts are in the right place.


Starring Chris Hemsworth, Miles Teller, Jurnee Smollett, and Mark Paguio. In exchange for a shorter sentence, convicts volunteer for drug experiments at a hidden facility.
This one was much better than anticipated. A mix of drama and thriller, the strength of the movie lies in its actors’ ability to keep you watching. What is the purpose of these drugs? How will this all end?
Hemsworth is the director of the facility and is both charming and unnerving. Teller (also in Top Gun: Maverick) is the criminal you really find yourself rooting for despite his past and what he does when on the drugs.
On NetFlix, I’d definitely recommend it.

Top Gun: Maverick

Picking up thirty-plus years later, it stars Tom Cruise, Jennifer Connelly, and Miles Teller, with a short, special appearance by Val Kilmer.
Similar to the first film in many ways. This time Maverick is wooing Connelly’s character, training the team for an impossible mission, and dealing with an estranged relationship with Goose’s son, played by Teller.
The flying sequences are amazing, really placing you in the cockpit. You get carried up in the story, emotionally involved.
Unfortunately, I know way too much about the military and planes, and my eyes rolled many, many times. The mission is one that could be solved a hundred different ways and much more effectively than sending the pilots on a near suicide mission. So, the complete lack of realism kind of blew it for me.
I was never a big fan of the first one, but it was fun to watch once. Recommended for fans of the first one, of which there are apparently many of you!

July Movie Preview

Here are the theatrical releases for July. Descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

8 –

Thor: Love and Thunder

Director Taika Waititi
Stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bakle, Taika Waititi
Thor enlists the help of Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster to fight Gorr the God Butcher, who intends to make the gods extinct.
And Sweet Child ‘O Mine will be permanently stuck in your head going into this film…

15 –

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
Directors Mark Koetsier, Rob Minkoff, Chris Bailey
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Brooks, Michael Cera
Hank, a loveable dog with a head full of dreams about becoming a samurai, sets off in search of his destiny.
I saw this for free as a kid. It was called Hong Kong Phooey.

22 –

Director: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea, Michael Wincott, Steven Yeun
The residents of a lonely gulch in inland California bear witness to an uncanny and chilling discovery.
Yep! Maybe. I don’t know…

29 –

The Reef: Stalked
Director: Andrew Traucki
Stars: Teressa Liane, Ann Truong, Tim Ross, Kate Lister, Saskia Archer
After her sister's murder, Nic, her younger sister and two friends seek solace through a Pacific island kayaking adventure. Hours into the trip the women are stalked by a shark and must band together, face their fears and save each other.
Are they 47 Meters Down in The Shallows and pursued by The Meg, or are they Shark Bait in the Deep Blue Sea with the Swamp Shark…?

What book world would you live in? Can you co-host the IWSG? See any of the movies? And what films are you seeing this month?
Enjoy your July! After next week, I will be mostly offline for the month but return August 3 for the next IWSG day.