Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Indiana Jones and the Aliens

Okay, so it's been out a week, so I figure it's safe to post a blog about this film. BUT, if you haven't seen it and still want to STOP READING.

I wasn't sure of my reaction to this new Indiana Jones movie, because I'd had plans to meet up with some friends before hand and our wires got crossed, so I wasn't in a great mood going in. But after a week of thinking about it, this film didn't work for me.

Many things felt really indulgent. Like the filmmakers were including unnecessary elements--like the greaser vs the preppy kids fight in the diner--just because they're nostalgic for the 50's. And I'm sorry. Putting animatronic gophers into the scene, doesn't make an atomic bomb blast funny.

And while it's not a storytelling problem, per se, I think the over the top stunts in this film made my eyes roll just a little too often and a little to wildly. Thinking back to the first Indiana Jones film--it's been a while since I saw it--sure, the stunts were over-the-top. But while they would have taken super-strength or super-speed and timing and luck, you could understand what he'd done in each of the stunts and almost believe it was possible.

Starting with the second film and that absurd being-tossed-out-of-an-airplane-and-getting-into-an-inflatable-raft
-mid-air stunt... This franchise started to lose me a bit. And there were so many stunts like that in this film. My favorite (least favorite) was the refrigerator in the atomic bomb test thing. Even if you believe he'd survive the heat and radiation because of the "lead lining" they made sure you'd notice, ridiculous in itself, even if you believe the blast blew the fridge miles away, while no other debris seemed to have gone that far, tell me every bone in his body wouldn't have broken when that fridge hit down.

But on a storytelling level, I think the problem with this film is that we never ever understood what the heck he was trying to prevent the evil Russian chick from getting her hands on, or what she hoped to do with it if she got it. I mean... Once they did have it, no one got any great power from it. I do get that the stories around it were "just a legend", but I don't think you can build a compelling story around preventing something that's really not that dangerous or terrible to begin with. In the end, it was just ET wanting to go home. And how come ET only took the bad people with him into the portal or spaceship or whatever it was, and let all the good people be?

I wanted to love this film, I really did. But in the end, I'm not sure I even liked it.

Am I just a big Indy Grinch?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

They got it right. Wow

So half-watching Idol tonight and half-working on the judges training for my local RWA chapter's contest, I was struck by just how much freaking better David Cook was than the little hobbit boy he was up against.

It's not just a matter of taste (or sexual attraction on my part) he's just better. When they sang together, C overpowered A so much it was crazy. And when they sang with the bands, it was so clear that David Cook belonged up on a stage with professional musicians and wasn't intimidated, while David A was barely visible singing with his group.

But I was convinced after the final performance show that David Archeletta was going to win. The judges clearly wanted him to win. David C was great but not goose-bump worthy for me, so I was sure David A. would win.

But the right guy won. Yea.

Funny story. I was watched the results on my DVR and it cut off the recording just as Ryan was about to announce the winner. I couldn't stop laughing. Thank goodness for the web or I'd have had to watch the Vancouver version to find out who won--and it just started.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May Two-Four

It's a long weekend up here in Canada and it's raining. I'd feel worse for the people camping or opening their cottages if I weren't sitting in a coffee shop determined to finish the first draft of my latest WIP today, (and instead blogging).

The muscles in my lower back seized up on the drive home from Boston nearly two weeks ago and they won't let go. The pain has erased my ability to put coherent sentences together. Certainly the ability to figure out the last three or four scenes of my book.

Got close to nothing done the last two days. Sigh.

But I have gone to some movies this week. They don't need much brain power and I can stretch my back while I sit.

I will try to blog more about these films, but enjoyed them all for different reasons...

Iron Man. Robert Downey Jr. Too funny. Too cute for his own good. Ten thousand names in the credits.
Someone told me to stay for the credits and here's my tip. Unless you're seriously into comics. Don't bother. The little post credits easter egg was not worth sitting through ten thousand names going by. (I'm not exaggerating. Might have been closer to a hundred thousand people who worked on this movie. But the result was highly entertaining.)

My Blueberry Nights. Nora Jones' acting debut, surrounded by many stellar established actors: Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Rachel Weisz, David Strathairn. This film's not for everyone. In spite of the overall story being a romance it's really an "art film", certainly doesn't have the pacing or clear storytelling arc of a commercial film. But I really enjoyed it. She was kind of the weak link. A bit blank. But the others made up for it. And it's a story I keep thinking about... Someone go see it so we can tawk.

Son of Rambow
I'd recommend this one to just about anyone. Really well done. It was "one that got away" for me at the TIFF last fall. Didn't see it then, but glad it got released so I could see it now. Very sweet kid as the protagonist. Very sweet story. Very funny. That cute guy who plays Chuck on Gossip Girls in a minor role. Set in the 1980's. What more could you want? Oh, and this one had a tiny easter egg after the much shorter credits. The one kid telling the other:
"You spelled it wrong."
"There's not supposed to be a "w" at the end."
"Oh, sorry." (or something to that effect.)

Ooops. I was going to just list the films and then blog about the long weekend and why Canada still celebrates Queen Victoria's birthday even though she's been dead for, what, 107 years? But you got movies instead. :-) (See what I mean about my brain not being able to hold onto thoughts????)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Death by Bikini

Fellow TKA client and Backspacer, Linda Gerber, is having a party to celebrate the release of her new book, DEATH BY BIKINI.

Stop on by and join the fun. (Even if you can't stay to party, stop by just to check out her cover. Tres cool.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tag Week part Uno

Okay, so I've been a bad blogger AND I've had at least 3 tags in the past ten days (that I know about).

Time to get down to business. My apologies to my taggers.

I decided to tackle the most recent one first, because it doesn't require much (any) thought. :-)

The wonderful Sara Hantz (author of THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN) passed me this tag. Here are the rules:

1. Pick up the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the next three sentences.

5. Tag five people and post a comment to the person who tagged you once you’ve posted your three sentences.

Okay, so I guess the instructions imply fiction, but I'm in my office and the closest books on hand are writing books, so I randomly grabbed THE WRITER'S JOURNEY, by Christopher Vogler. The three sentence block straddles a mid-chapter subtitle (the perils of choosing non-fiction for this tag) so I'm not counting the subtitle as a sentence. :-) Such a rebel I am.

The young man's learning is so complete that when the movie ends, he is ready to take Barbarossa's place as a larger-than-life folk hero.


Mentors can be regarded as heroes who have become experienced enough to teach others. They have been down the Road of Heroes one or more times, and they have acquired knowledge and skill which can be passed on.

Wow. Riveting stuff, eh? ;-)

Okay, so now I have to think of some people to tag, and I guess it would be pretty rude to tag anyone who's tagged me recently where I have yet to take up the tag... (This week, Kwana and Bev. I promise.)

I tag:

Mel Francis
Christine D'Abo
Bonnie Staring
Marilyn Brandt
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Best Season Ever

Okay, so I should be responding to a couple of recent tags from Kwana Minatee-Jackson and Bev Katz Rosenbaum, or even tidying my house because my sister and her family will be arriving at any moment and it's a total disaster. But I can't resist blogging about the episode of Survivor I just watched. (Nor could I resist watching it as soon as I got home, even though it was safely saved on my DVR.)

Wow. This is my favourite season ever. It's been such a lesson in manipulation and gullibility and how young men will believe just about anything a pretty woman tells them.

The women this season are proving to be masters of this game. I'm not even sure who I want to win anymore. I think I'd be happy with any of the four who are left (although Cirie is my fav).

I haven't been a big fan of the skeleton with silicone bags hanging off her chest, but I realize that's prejudiced. I shouldn't be a hater, just 'cause she's a skeleton with silicone bags hanging off her chest, but really, Nathalie is a warning for young girls everywhere. Skeleton-skinny chicks do not have boobs. Not big ones like that. If you're that skinny, fake boobs will look like silicone bags hanging off your chest. Don't do it!

But putting my fake-boob-prejudice aside, now I'm even rooting for the silicone bag toting skeleton. Any of the four can win in my mind. Wow. I can't believe what they pulled off tonight. Masterful. Men everywhere are quaking in their boots. (Or they should be.) Like Cirie said at the end, her mama always told her you can't always beat them with these (she points to her biceps) but you can always beat them with these (points to her head).


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Marley Gibson's Book Release Day!

Not only is it May Day, it's the day my good friend Marley Gibson's first two novels are being released under the pen name Kate Harmon.

The books are aimed at teens and are called: SORORITY 101: ZETA OR OMEGA? and SORORITY 101: THE NEW SISTERS

Cute covers, eh?

Huge congratulations to Marley!!! (I'm actually about to get in my car (after having a late breakfast/early lunch with Molly, and then heading to Boston for her release party tomorrow night! Can't wait.)

She'll be on at 3 p.m. ET and people can call in. Cool!
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