movie: Oculus

I finally got to watch a movie this weekend! I should say that I finally got to watch a whole movie. We actually tried to watch one last weekend. It was the latest Transformers movie. I didn’t do a review on it because I got bored in the middle of it and got up and walked away.

This one was much better.

oculus

Description from IMDB: “A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.”

Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who and Guardians of the Galaxy) plays Kaylie Russell. She’s the one trying to exonerate her brother. Her character is smart. She comes up with all of these ways to try and outsmart the scary mirror ghost: timers, and plants, even a dog.

The brother, Tim, isn’t so sure about this plan. He has spent years in a mental institution trying to get past the trauma he suffered as a kid. Now, sister dearest is bringing it all up again.

Oculus is pretty good. There’s a lot of oh-you-thought-this-was-happening-but-it-was-really-this! HAHA! It’s pretty light on special effects. I would’ve liked to have seen more of the actual ghost.

Good times, though. Oculus gets a B+.

movie 300: Rise of an Empire

I am present on the blog! I have gotten out of the habit of posting, and that’s bad. I need to try and carve out some time to post more. I have been writing, believe it or not, just not here.

Description from IMDB: “Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.”

This movie was very interesting. There is some confusion at the beginning (or at least I was confused) as to when this part of the story occurs. The action seems to jump around the timeline a bit around the defeat of the 300

SO, the biggest conflict is Themistokles versus Artemisia (played by Penny Dreadful’s Eva Greene). Artemisia is a ruthless commander. She is also advisor/sort of sister to Xerxes (bald dude with crazy piercings). Her character was nuts, as was her wardrobe. There was one outfit that was black with gold spikey vertebrae sticking out the back.

Themistokles was a pretty good character, too, but not quite as interesting. He was very intelligent, however. They both were. They used some battle strategies that were very cool. There were some boat battles. Lots of blood splattering. The splattering got old after a while.

As with the first 300 movie, there was some great imagery. Slow motion sequences. Bodies sinking under the water sequences. There were some weird cat-like creatures and mastodons that appeared briefly.

The story was good. Characters were good. If you liked the first movie, you would probably like this one. I did. 300: Rise of an Empire gets an A-.

movie: The Monuments Men

monuments men

Description from IMDB: “An unlikely World War II platoon is tasked to rescue art masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their owners.”

When I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was a comedy. It isn’t. It’s actually more than a comedy.

First, the cast is amazing: George Clooney, John Goodman, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and other superb actors. You can’t go wrong, really.

The story is really deep as far as subject matter. Which, how could a story set in World War II not be deep? It dwells on sacrifice a lot. Is art worth the sacrifice of human life? There was also the question of what makes a soldier. Is it always a man with a gun?

The movie does have some very funny parts. The trailer didn’t lie about that. But Monuments Men is also profound and tragic and joyful. It veers into tense when it needs to. The movie is a tad long, but it’s a story worth chewing on, so I give it a pass on that. It is definitely worth a watch.

The Monuments Men gets a big, giant A.

movie: Twixt

 

twixt

 

 

What is up? I have a movie this week!

Description from IMDB: “A writer with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl. That night in a dream, he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V. He’s unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. Ultimately he is led to the truth of the story, surprised to find that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated.

- Written by Production”

I watched this movie on Netflix streaming. I had my eye on it and finally got around to watching it this past weekend.

Twixt is very visually interesting. There’s a lot of play on color. Filming shifts to black and white at night (hey, that rhymes!) with only shades of red poking through, a la Sin City, and sometimes lamplight, if I remember correctly. In fact, there were a few spots where the filming reminded me of Sin City in other ways.

Another thing I liked about the movie was the fact that Edgar Allan Poe was a character. He visited in ghost form at night and talked in a Poe sort of way, which gave me very happy feelings. It was kind of odd, though. In fact, there were a few odd things about this movie.

The plot itself was kind of all over the place. They might’ve tried to do a little too much. We have the ghost named “V”, the writer, Hall Baltimore (dorky name, right?) and his various personal issues, Poe and his interactions with Hall, the goth people partying on the side of the lake and the weird religious guy and a bunch of kids on the other side of the lake, a sheriff investigating some local murders.

It’s a lot to take in, which doesn’t necessarily make it a bad movie, but Twixt definitely isn’t for everyone. I enjoyed watching it well enough. It’s not the best movie ever. I am glad that I finally got around to it.  

Long Overdue Writing Updates

I thought I would do some updates because I haven’t done any in a while. I have been working, despite my lack of blog posting. I seem to be under a greater time crunch that usual. Today I decided that my video game regimen is becoming…perhaps a little excessive. I’m currently playing Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil does that to me. I’m on the 3rd storyline of 4.

Sooooo, I’m going to set that aside for a while because that is not very grown-up of me. And also because I have things that I would really like to accomplish, things that are more important than hunting virtual monsters.

First, the middle grade novel. I started that project last year. The rough draft was done quite a while ago. I put that aside and circled back around. I think it’s on edit 3 right now. I’m going to start fishing for an agent this weekend.

I also have a 3rd (?) draft for the sequel to What the Dead Fear, which is the novella. I had a rather traumatic rewrite earlier this year on that one. I’ll get back to it soon. It probably doesn’t even need that much work, she says hopefully.

What else? Oh, I did randomly start another novel. It’s a weird project. I’m not even sure how to describe it. I guess the closest description might be psychological romance? It has some psychological thriller elements but also a whole lot of romance. I know. I’m fully aware of how strange that sounds. I think the end result might be a little Hitchcock?

My notes for that book are over 10,000 words, which seems excessive to me but whatever. I have this grand idea that I can bang the thing out in like a month. I guess that was the thought process when I made notes. It is all plotted out. I’m sure it would probably go quickly if I can get a span of time in which I work on nothing else.

Maybe if I had a month-long writing retreat.

I think that’s it for now.

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