Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Insecure Writer’s Support Group; June Movie Preview; and Reviews – Fast X, Spider-Man, and Three Thousand Years of Longing

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 June 7 posting of the IWSG are Patrcia Josephine, Diedre Knight, Olga Godim, J. Lenni Dorner, and Cathrina Constantine!

I'm also at the IWSG Anthologies Blog today!

Before I jump into today’s post, I have sad news.
Ken Rahmoeller (Chemist Ken) was about to publish his first book, Accidental Alchemist. Unfortunately, he also had a brain tumor and lost the battle last month. (You can read his obituary here.)
Ken was such a great part of the IWSG and loved to co-host. He will be greatly missed. We hope that his book will still become a reality and he finally gets to be a published author.
God bless you, Ken. We will miss you.

June 7 question - If you ever did stop writing, what would you replace it with?

I’d just continue with my guitar playing, which is what I am mostly doing right now. Plus I’m enjoying taking care of our property and doing outside work. So, I’d be okay not writing. (But I am thinking of another short story sequel to Dragon of the Stars.)

It’s time for WEP again!
June is Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
There is a critique prize and possibility for inclusion in the WEP Anthology.
Check out the WEP site for details.


Fast X

Dom Toretto and his family are targeted by the vengeful son of drug kingpin Hernan Reyes.
Did you enjoy the first nine movies? Then you will enjoy this one.
The action scenes are huge and over the top, but so much fun to watch.
It’s a bit long with some scenes not necessary. But I guess it was all about character building and bonding.
Jason Mamoa is over the top as the crazy, eccentric millionaire son with a vengeance.
The cast is huge and there are some surprises.

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Just as fun and unique as the first film.
The animation style is so unique, as if dozens of different artists all worked on the project and their styles were blended together.
It’s also very, very funny. We do like a snarky-funny Spider-Man. And there are many, many versions of Spider-Man!
Be warned it’s a long movie (145 minutes) although the pace really picks up towards the end and you don’t even notice the passage of time. And also know this is part one of two, so it ends on a cliffhanger.
And after you read my comment in the movies releases below, yes – we got Peter Porker as Spider-Pig!
Highly Recommended!

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Interesting movie, sometimes hard to watch.
Idris the best part of the movie.
Tilda toned down her weirdness for this one. (As I think she’s a bit of an odd person.)
It’s quirky and odd, told mostly in flashbacks
If there were deeper meanings I was to take away from the film, I guess I missed them. (Beyond genie in a bottle, three wishes, and your heart’s desire.)
If you want something quirky and a bit puzzling, check it out.

June Movie Preview

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

2 -

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Miles Morales catapults across the Multiverse, where he encounters a team of Spider-People charged with protecting its very existence. When the heroes clash on how to handle a new threat, Miles must redefine what it means to be a hero.
Directors - Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, Justin K. Thompson
Stars - Shameik Moore, Hailee Steinfeld, Oscar Isaac
Got my fingers crossed for more Spider-Pig!

9 –

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

Based on the 'Transformers' spinoff 'Beast Wars' which feature robots that transform into robotic animals.
Director - Steven Caple Jr.
Stars - Pete Davidson, Michelle Yeoh, Ron Perlman
Well, they transformed Michael Bay right out of the series, so this one might not be as bad…

16 –

The Flash
Barry Allen uses his super speed to change the past, but his attempt to save his family creates a world without super heroes, forcing him to race for his life in order to save the future.
Director - Andy Muschietti
Stars – Ezra Miller, Ben Affleck, Sasha Calle, Michael Keaton, Michael Shannon
Like a unicorn sighting, this could be the rare three Batman movie!

30 –

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Archaeologist Indiana Jones races against time to retrieve a legendary artifact that can change the course of history.
Director - James Mangold
Stars - Harrison Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, Antonio Banderas
Let’s hope the real subtitle isn’t Indiana Jones and the Suckage of All Movies. (Like the last one.)

What would you replace writing with? Have you seen Fast X, Spider-Man, or A Thousand Years of Longing? What movies catch your eye for June? Be sure to visit the IWSG Anthologies Blog!
I will be offline for most of June, so see you July 5 for the next IWSG posting.


Shannon Lawrence said...

I really like Phoebe Waller-Bridge, so I'm looking forward to her in Indiana Jones. I think I'm finally done with the Fast Whatever series, but will likely watch on streaming. My son enjoyed the new Spiderverse film enough to ask us if we wanted to go see it with him, which would be his second viewing.

Ray Rousell said...

I never got into the Fast & Furious, just don't get it? The Flash on the other hand looks brilliant. That's defo on my must watch list.

J Lenni Dorner said...

Looks like some excellent action this month! They must really want people back in movie theaters. (Now if only they'd end the writers strike by agreeing to pay them closer to their worth, or at least a decent wage that keeps up with inflation. Just saying.)

Did you know that June is Audiobook Appreciation Month? Random fun tidbit for you. Hope you have fun doing your offline stuff.

J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Speculative Fiction &Reference Author, OperationAwesome6 Debut Author Interviewer, and Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge

Nick Wilford said...

I just heard about Ken only yesterday via Tyrean. Such sad news. He'll be missed for sure.

I'd like to be able to play guitar. However, I'm just not musical so I'll have to continue with writing!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I had no idea that Ken had a brain tumor. I am shocked and saddened by this news. Will be sending prayers for him and his family.

Truedessa said...

Happy Wednesday! I saw trailers for the new Indiana Jones movie and it looks promising. I hope viewers will not be disappointed.

That is sad news to lose someone in the community. Hopefully, the book will get published.

When I am not writing my poetry I enjoy playing my humble drum, dreamwork and walking in nature.

Oh, I do hope you will write a short story.

Brightest blessings for a day filled with light!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm so sad to hear about Ken. I met him once at an SCBWI event. That's great you have other creative outlets if you stopped writing or take a break from it. I could keep busy too.

Jennifer Lane said...

That is devastating for Ken and his family. I interacted briefly with him through IWSG, and he was kind and encouraging. Thanks for letting us know, Alex.

I like your optimistic take on whether you write again.

Pat Garcia said...

Hello Alex,
Thank you for letting us know about Ken. Whenever he visited my blog, he always left words of encouragement. I just got back from being five weeks in the US, so this was an unexpected shock.
Shalom shalom

Nancy Gideon said...

Just saw F&F new installment. A simple pleasure and great fun. Thanks for letting us know about Ken. We'd gotten to be friends via IWSG. I'll miss his stories and his love of the written word.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Oh no. I'm so sorry to hear about Ken.

I saw 3K Years of Longing and thought it was quirky, too.

Jemi Fraser said...

I'm so sad about Ken. He will be missed.

Loni Townsend said...

I took my kids to see Across the Spider-Verse this past weekend. We didn't know it ended on a cliffhanger, so when we got there we were "WHA???" Love the art style in the show and all the variations. It definitely met our family's approval.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Really sad about ken ... haunting that it turned out that way. I am looking forward to seeing Across the Spider-Verse. Ezra Miller's bizarre antics left a bad taste in my mind, so I will not be seeing the Flash movie. Thanks for visiting my blog.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shannon, go see it!

Ray, early buzz says The Flash is one of the best superhero films ever.

J, I didn't know that.

Truedessa, I will work on it.

Loni, yeah, I'd read it was a cliffhanger and was prepared.

Roland, he says he's learned his lesson.

Birgit said...

I am so sorry to hear about your friend and so very sad. He is too young but I hope his family publishes his book. If I was a writer and stopped I would continue to craft. None of these movies appeal to me. I saw a small bit, the other day where Vin and the gang are on ice. They protect from this huge fireball and he is unscathed…hahahaaaaa. It was so stupid. I like the Rock but ugghhh…no. Hahahaaa. I still am laughing at that scene. Maybe I will see across the Spiderverse but we shall see. Have a great June Alex. Enjoy playing guitar and listening to Rush:).

Carol Kilgore said...

Sorry for the loss of your friend. That one movie does sound weird.

PT Dilloway said...

Sad about Ken 😭

Not looking forward to seeing how they ruin Beast Wars, which is the best Transformers series. I assume this Indiana Jones like Rocky Balboa is trying to rectify the awfulness of it's predecessor and provide a better ending.

Diane Burton said...

I'm looking forward to seeing The Flash. Love your snark. Ken will definitely be missed. Such a nice guy.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Sending prayers to Ken's family and friends....

I just don't think I can watch the new Indiana Jones movie.

Really enjoyed the movie Knock at the Cabin. Also really liked Mr. Harrigan's Phone (Netflix, based on Stephen King story, starring Donald Sutherland.)

Jan Morrison said...

Sorry to hear about Ken - he seemed a lovely guy and I do hope they publish his book.
I will write until they put me in the ground (or really I'd like a Viking funeral!). I do lots of other things - paint, garden, make dolls, clown, and so on - but writing is how I process my world. I would just fill up with longing (or rage, or laughter) and not know what it was!

H. R. Sinclair said...

I can't believe I'm going to say this...but I think I'm superhero'd out.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It was so heartbreaking to hear about Ken.

I love the Fast movies and Vin & Jason in the same film? Yes!

cleemckenzie said...

Ken was the kind of member IWSG appreciated: supportive, determined, and with a sense of humor.

Having different compelling endeavors is always a good idea and guitar playing is a great one to continue enjoying.

diedre Knight said...

Howdy, Captain!

Sorry to hear of Ken's passing. He was such a nice guy. Thoughts and prayers to his family and felines.

I'll probably see Fast X since I've seen several others. Jason is kind of a bonus ;-)

Music is always a wonderful outlet - especially when creating it yourself. Lucky you! I hope you still write that story you're thinking about.

Enjoy your June!

Charity Bradford said...

So sorry to hear about Ken.
Looks like some fun movies coming up. Also, in case you didn't see my reply on my blog, please don't feel sad. ;)

Lynn La Vita said...

I'm so sorry to learn of Ken Rahmoeller (Chemist Ken) passing before Accidental Alchemist was published.
Thank you for acknowledging Ken's contribution to IWSG. I remember visiting his site often.

Your gentle and joyful activities are the perfect pastime while the sequel to Dragon of the Stars percolates.

Wishing you and all our members clean air to breathe as the Canadian fires burn.

Cheers, Lynn @ Lynn La Vita

Tonja Drecker said...

Music is in the soul. Anyway, I just saw a trailer for the new Indiana Jones yesterday...can I admit I rolled my eyes? (but I'm now humming the original theme non-stop)

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

It is very sad and shocking to hear that Ken "Chemest Ken" passed away. May he rest in Eternal Peace.

I actually liked the last Indiana Jones movie and liked the twist that it took, although it wasn't my favourite of the films. But I hope this new one is better.

Computer Tutor said...

I am looking forward to Indiana Jones--with some trepidations. Very sad to hear about Ken. I always enjoyed reading his monthly posts, catching up on his progress. His writing style was so approachable.

Tyrean Martinson said...

I'm looking forward to the Indy movie. A friend of mine really wants to see Transformers for her birthday, so that is happening although I fell asleep in an earlier movie in the franchise, so I will be drinking caffeine beforehand to stay awake through the crash-click-boom on repeat. (Sorry, I wanted to be a Transformers fan, but... I'm just not.) Thanks for the snarky previews!

Patricia JL said...

I can't believe the news about Ken. There is just something especially surreal to me when someone I only know through the internet passes. It must be because we never met face to face and the internet is touted as forever that messes with me. =(

Mary Kirkland said...

Oh there's a bunch of movies I want to see. Transformers, Fast X, The Flash, Another Indiana Jones movie.

So sorry to hear about Ken.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, the next Indiana Jones can't be worse. Can it?

Madeline, I'll look for that movie. I like Sutherland.

Charity, but I do!

Tonja, he really is getting too old to do those kinds of movies.

Tyrean, the only one that was good was Bumblebee.

Patricia, same here.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I wonder... if I weren't writing, would I spend more time reading or doing music? Or would I just fritter away that extra time? I'm not planning to find out; I had months of not being very able to write after my husband died, and it helped my mental health when I started working more again at my books.

A Hundred Quills said...

So sorry to hear about Ken. God bless his soul.
It's good to have something that can replace the one thing we most ardently do. Glad you're inclined to music.

Joanne said...

I am not officially writing, but the toe stays in the water with my blog, letters, etc. It's just in the soul.

I'm always ready to zoom with Vin - I love his voice and the Fast movies are just so ridiculous - in a good way. Spidey Man Multiverse 2 - I'll check it out since the first one was good. My problem with so many of movies lately is the length - edit, edit, edit. I don't need over two hours.
Enjoy your June and summer time!

J E Oneil said...

The summer movies all look like they're going to be either really good or really bad, and possibly both at once.

Olga Godim said...

I'm sorry about Ken. People seem to be dying around me right now. I have a friend from Brazil staying with me this month. Her ex is a Canadian, and he had a bad stroke a couple days ago. He is on life support at the hospital at the moment, hooked up to some machines, but they say he is brain dead. They are going to turn off all his machines today. Although he is my friend's ex, she is upset, and her adult daughter is devastated to loose her father. A tragic situation. He is only 72.

ib said...

My condolences on the loss of your friend. I know all too well how it feels to lose someone.

I joined the IWSG a couple of weeks ago and have been chomping at the bit to resurface with the group. I'll be checking out some other blogs as well. I've got extra time on my hands.

I am sure I'll be dragged to the theatre by my daughter for Spiderman and The Flash. The rest will probably have to wait for streaming.

Good to here from you. Take best of care.

Susan Kane said...

Sorry to hear about Ken. My brother died of brain tumor when he was 46. It was horrible.

I think it is time again for me to binge watch the Fast & Furious movies. I love the series, wasn't sure how I would do with this last one. It was great. There were so many knots and tangles that it was on the move movie. Momoa was perfect as a demented bad guy.

Question: when will the next number (X or XI) be released?

Sandra Cox said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Ken.

Gwen Gardner said...

I was sad to hear about Ken. I hope his book still gets published.

I would imagine playing music is a lot like writing. Once you're addicted, you gotta do it!

Donna K. Weaver said...

It saddens me to hear about Ken. I hope his family can go ahead and publish his book for him.

Sarah Foster said...

I was so sad to hear about Ken. I always enjoyed reading his blog posts and could usually relate to his writing struggles. Hopefully his book will still be published.

Fundy Blue said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Ken! I enjoyed his blog a lot. I hope his book does get published. It's so sad. I'd love to see a short story sequel to "Dragon of the Stars. " I finally made it to a movie theatre while I was in Las Vegas. I saw "The Little Mermaid" which was wonderful ~ The cinematography was outstanding. I plan to see the Indiana Jones movie, and I hope it is good. Enjoy IWSG Day. I was late posting, but my post is up now.

PJ Colando said...

Sorry, sorry to hear the news of Ken's loss. Thanks for sharing his written 'eulogy'. I. do his family will publish his book... It might ameliorate their heartbreak.

Thanks, as always, for the movie reviews -

Liz A. said...

I'm sorry to hear about Ken. He will be missed.

That's a lot of sequels and superhero movies. I did like the first Spiderverse movie, though...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rebecca, you just keep writing then.

Joanne, and both of those are well over two hours. I'm with you - two hours is enough!

Olga, what a terrible and tragic situation!

Susan, I don't think it will come out for another two years! Just like Dune, making us wait.

Gwen, yes!

Louise, no worries about late.

Melissa said...

I'm so sad about Ken. I really liked him. He was such a bright spot on the blogosphere. said...

My condolences to Ken's family.

Music is a good way to spend time.

Rhonda Albom said...

I am sorry to read about Ken.

As for the movies, I will wait for your review before I see the Indiana Jones movie, the rest won't be on my list.

And, if I stopped writing, I would do more art. In fact, I recently set up an entire art area in my house and find myself doing more art, so less writing. said...

Oh Alex, I'm so sorry to you and the IWSG, and to Ken's close loved ones. That timing - so frustrating. Perhaps someone will take his book through to publication?

My heartfelt condolences.
Go gently, Alex.

Botanist said...

The last Indiana Jones movie told me they've milked the series dry. It was awful. Loved the first three and I'll keep my fond memories of those intact, thanks.

As for if I stopped writing? Likely get back to more regular painting.

nashvillecats2 said...

A great post Alex, am home from hospital late last night.
Sorry to hear about Ken, my husband had a brian tumour so can feel for him deeply.
Hope to resign up with the group for next month...... all being better than things are now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, reviews will have to be great for me to risk another Indiana Jones film. And cool about the artwork.

Robyn, we hope so!

Yvonne, join us next month!

Michelle Wallace said...

It was a shock to hear about Ken. A solid and all-round decent human being. I hope his book gets published.

C.D. Gallant-King said...

Across the Spider-Verse was excellent, like the first one. The Flash looks like it could be great (it better be, for all the trouble Ezra has been causing). I just wish DC could make consistently better movies.

Victoria Marie Lees said...

My husband and daughter can't wait for the new Indiana Jones movie. I'm not too sure about it. My favorite Indiana movies are the Lost Arc and the Last Crusade. I'll wait to see what my husband and daughter think. All best to you, Alex!

Denise Covey said...

Indiana Jones is always awesome! Thanks for the shout out for the June WEP challenge. Maybe we'll get a few sci-fi stories.

Samantha Bryant said...

Just got to see Spiderman last night! And I loved it. @samanthabwriter from
Balancing Act

Liza said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Ken. Thank you for sharing.

I imagined your answer to this month's question would be your music, Alex. It's good to have two passions! While I can't imagine not writing, I supposed I would exercise more and spend even more time in the garden.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

CD, early reviews say one of the best superhero movie ever!

Victoria, I'm not too sure about it either.

Denise, hope you do!

Samantha, it was awesome.

emaginette said...

Nothing like the creative arts, I say. Have a great month. :-)

Jen said...

I am so sorry to hear of Ken's passing. I didn't connect with him much but over the years, he was a staple in the blogverse. He'll definitely be missed.

Like you, if I didn't have writing, I'd focus more on my other forms of art. Of course, I use those to tell stories as well so I guess I could just say that I'd find another medium with which to tell stories.

Fingers crossed this Indiana Jones movie is better than Crystal Skull (not that it would be that art to surpass!)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Ken's passing is so sad. I'll miss him. I watched a Thousand Years of Longing and like you, I'm not sure what the message was but I watched until the end. No upcoming movies could draw me to the theatre. I'd rather wait a month and then pay $20 to watch at home.

Toi Thomas said...

Thanks for another great hop, Alex,
I'll definitely check out the IWSG blog.
I'm so excited about another Dragon of the Stars story.
Thanks for the movie reviews and previews. I am not looking forward to Indiana Jones.

Janet Alcorn said...

I'm so sorry to hear of Chemist Ken's passing. I enjoyed his IWSG posts, and he's definitely gone too soon.

I'm way too hyped for the new Indiana Jones movie, to the point that I know I'm setting myself up for disappointment. It'd better not suck.

mail4rosey said...

Peter Porker, you say? LOL
I didn't know Jason Momoa was in the new Fast & Furious movie. I might go see it.
I wouldn't have gone to see Flash (we wore ourselves out on the series) but Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck are in it? I might go for that alone!
Very sorry to hear of your friend passing.

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Ken!

The Spiderman movies sound really fun. As an Eighties kid, I also might be interested in the Transformers movie.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Wow, I’m so sad hearing the news about Ken. My condolences to his family and friends.

This month there are so many good films coming to the theater that it feels like the box office is back. For the first time in years, I’m really excited. I’m actually going to see “Across the Spiderverse” tonight. I’m a little surprised that it is so long. That’s going to make it tough to get to bed in time for work tomorrow. Ah well. Composing and playing music and managing properties sounds like a swell way to spend your time, Alex.

Nilanjana Bose said...

I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. My most heartfelt condolences.

Thank you for featuring WEP here - that's always a thrill to see. Hope your week is going well. Writing is like water, impossible to survive without it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jen, not hard at all!

Rosey, they say it's one of the best superhero films ever!

Michael, I was surprised to see how long it was as well. I really am all right with movies around two hours.

Nila, hope there are a lot of WEP entries.

Annalisa Crawford said...

A new cinema chain has opened up near us, so I'm going to give cinemas one last try. Neck issues mean current seating is awkward and causes pain after a while, but the new chain has sofas and waitress service! So, it's Indiana Jones for us, and I hope too it's a good one!

DMS said...

Sorry to hear about Ken. I hope his book is published!

I haven't seen any of the Fast and the Furious. I am curious about Indiana Jones!

Blue Grumpster said...

They transformed Michael Bay right out of the series, all right. As for Indiana Jones... it sucks so hard it's almost sexy. You count my words. Watch the first 15 minutes, which are fine, then leave the movie theater. Luckily a strong female is there to save the day and take over where Jones started slacking.

The Happy Whisk said...

I'll be a writer until the day I'm kickin' up daisys. Writing, drawing, Painting furniture, building, baking - all the same thing to me.