Monday, July 15, 2024

Writers and AI #IWSG, Movie Reviews, and Evergrey Album Review

Surprise! A mid-month post. That’s because I had too many reviews for the next IWSG post and I have a post at the IWSG site today. I have compiled some information on writers, AI, ethics, programs, copyright, and more at the IWSG site, so check it out!

Movie Reviews

Despicable Me 4

Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith, and Agnes welcome a new member to the family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad. Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal and his girlfriend Valentina, and the family is forced to go on the run.
It was entertaining.
Nothing against Gru and his family, but bring on the Minions! The family dynamics are sweet and nice, but at this point, more interested in Minion shenanigans. Fortunately, there are plenty.
I’d say the second half worked best, once the girl next door got involved. And the honey badger.
The animation is stunning, as there are close up moments that look so real, like Gru’s hands near the end when he’s holding on for dear life.
Recommended. Unless you didn’t like the other five movies. This one won’t change your mind.


A pilot finds himself caught in a war zone after he's forced to land his commercial aircraft during a terrible storm.
Starring Gerard Butler and Mike Colter, it’s a surprisingly good film with a terrible title.
Shot on a very modest budget, the director makes the best of the locations and his two stars. He delivers an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller. It also had an 80’s-90’s vibe to it.

Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Axel Foley returns to Beverly Hills after his daughter's life is threatened and works with old pals John Taggart and Billy Rosewood to uncover a conspiracy.
It’s actually a super fun movie. While not as good as the first two, it delivers a lot of good laughs and crazy action scenes. It’s almost an apology for the third film.
Eddie Murphy doesn’t look like he’s aged. Certainly not forty years from the first movie!
It’s a definitely throwback to the 80’s films. Same vibe, style of music, and makes one smile.

Music Review – Evergrey – Theories of Emptiness

Released last month, their seventeenth album has quickly grown to be one of my favorites.
From Sweden, this is a prog band that focuses on shorter tracks with great hooks and catchy choruses.
Falling From the Sun is the perfect way to lead off an album. It’s an earworm with a melody you won’t soon forget.
The rest of the album is just as impressive. Standout tracks include Say (the video hinted at the departure of their drummer and it was indeed announced a week or so later – the video is a nice sendoff), We Are the North, and Cold Dreams (featuring Jonas Renkse, lead singer from Katatonia.)
This album is a must-have for those who love metal/rock with clean vocals.
Highly recommended!

Have you seen any of those movies? Heard of Everygrey? Doing anything fun this summer?
Be sure to visit the IWSG site to get information on AI and writing.
After this week, I’ll see you again for the August posting of the IWSG!

Wednesday, July 3, 2024

#IWSG day! July Movie Preview and New Releases

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 3 posting of the IWSG are JS Pailly, Rebecca Douglass, Pat Garcia, Louise-Fundy Blue, and Natalie Aguirre!

Don't forget to add your link over on our IWSG Facebook page - it helps people find those who have posted.

The July 3 question: What are your favorite writing processing (e.g. Word, Scrivener, yWriter, Dabble), writing apps, software, and tools? Why do you recommend them? And which one is your all time favorite that you cannot live without and use daily or at least whenever you write?

Despite all of the tools and software out there, I really only use Word. I know, there are all these neat programs like Grammerly and AI software, but I’m happy to just use Word and its features. Simple but it works.

Thanks for all of the suggestions from last month’s question! We pulled together some of the top requests and are trying to work them into the system. We’ll keep you posted.

And please welcome the newest IWSG Admin, M. Louise Barbour!
She is taking over for Sandra Cox.
Sandra, thanks for helping us and being a part of the Admin team.
Louise, welcome to the rocking IWSG Admins!
Now, everyone go tell her she’s awesome.

New Releases!

Ghostly Protector by Stacy McKitrick

He finally found his long-lost love, but will he have to arrest her for murder?

Find it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Google, and Smashwords

Out of Circulation by Elizabeth Spann Craig

In the sun-kissed haven of Charleston, Ann and Grayson race to solve a deadly puzzle before more than just books are out of circulation.

Buy links for every platform are here.

July Movie Preview

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

3 –

Despicable Me 4
Directors: Chris Renaud and Patrick Delage
Stars: Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Joey King
Gru, Lucy, Margo, Edith, and Agnes welcome a new member to the family, Gru Jr., who is intent on tormenting his dad. Gru faces a new nemesis in Maxime Le Mal and his girlfriend Valentina, and the family is forced to go on the run.

12 –

Director: Oz Perkins
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Alicia Witt, Maika Monroe
FBI Agent Lee Harker is assigned to an unsolved serial killer case that takes unexpected turns, revealing evidence of the occult. Harker discovers a personal connection to the killer and must stop him before he strikes again.
Nicolas Cage, bat-crap crazy. Take one thousand!

19 –

Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Stars: Glen Powell, Katy O’Brian, Kiernan Shipka
An update to the 1996 film 'Twister', which centered on a pair of storm chasers who risk their lives in an attempt to test an experimental weather alert system.
Different movie. Or is it the same cow?

26 –

Deadpool and Wolverine
Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin
Wolverine is recovering from his injuries when he crosses paths with the loudmouth, Deadpool. They team up to defeat a common enemy.
The Reese's Peanut Butter cup of movies. Two great things that (we hope) go great together.

What software do you use for writing? Picking up either new release? What movies catch your eye this month?
I'll be gone for a while this month, so catch you guys here and there.