movie: This is the End

Description from IMDB: “While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.”

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This movie is off the chain crazy, stoner comedy of the highest caliber; I assure you. First off, all the actors play themselves. This is funniest during the party at the beginning of the movie. There’s all kinds of absurdity, most notably with Michael Cera, who usually plays the goofy underdog romantic lead. He’s not one of the main characters but he is rather hilarious.

During the party, stuff gets hectic, literally hell on earth. As you can probably imagine, the rich movie stars don’t deal with the hardships well. They’re rather awkward and helpless most of the time. More hilarity ensues, and the movie gets weirder and weirder until you’re all like whaaaaattt?

Very entertaining. Very funny. The movie is exactly what it should be. This is the End gets an A.

movie: American Hustle

We finally have nice weather! WOO! I am looking forward to doing some kind of outdoor activity this weekend. I am beyond tired of being stuck inside.

Last weekend we watched American Hustle.

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Description from IMDB: “A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.”

This movie reminded me a lot of Goodfellas. It has the voiceover narration and the whole retro appeal. There’s mob stuff, too. I wouldn’t say it was quite to the same extent as movies like Casino or Goodfellas but it’s in there.

The story was interesting and populated by characters who had a lot of passion about whatever they were doing, which in many cases was kinda crazy and/or ridiculous.

Whoever decided on the guys’ hairstyles in this movie must’ve been really angry with men in general because damn. Christian Bale especially. The whole first scene is minutes of him assembling his hair. It must be the most hideous, yet complicated hair of all time.

The ladies fared better in the hair department. I also liked that when Amy Adams’ character, Sydney, was supposed to look like crap, she looked like crap. The makeup artist did a good job of keeping her looking real instead of like an over-polished Disney star. And there was a lot of cleavage. A lot.

American Hustle is totally awesome. It gets an A.

Thoughts on the How I Met Your Mother Finale

In lieu of movie post this week, I’m doing a TV show post.

No matter how you end a beloved series, someone is going to complain, probably a lot of someones. I watched the How I Met Your Mother finale on Monday and I’ve read many complaints.

I actually liked the finale just fine. It made sense to me. Maybe I’m the only one? I don’t know.

There’s a saying that applies to writing: the end is the beginning or maybe it’s the beginning is the end. I can’t remember for sure. Basically, the idea is that stories should come full circle. That is what the show did, pretty much. I mean, look at this synopsis from season 1, episode 2.

“After telling Robin that “He loves her”, things fall apart for she and Ted and he figures that it’s all over for the two of them, but not for long as Ted finds out from Lily after she met Robin that she (Robin) likes him and Ted tries once again…” It goes on.

So, yes. The series really was more about Ted and Robin than it was about Ted and Tracy.

I did have a couple of complaints about the finale. I thought Barney’s character did a 180 that didn’t make all that much sense. He had grown as a person. All the romantic sincerity he’d picked up just flew out the window.

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They tried to redeem him at the very end, but it was too little, too late. He should’ve at least ended up becoming a more sophisticated version of his previous self or something. The devolution felt cheap and forced.

I also didn’t really like the cliché that Robin became toward the end. Lonely spinster with too many dogs? Girl, please. How boring is that? How one-dimensional? It sucked every bit of her cool out of the room.

As for the rest of the story, I was okay with it. Marshall and Lily – good, Ted – fine. The kids were funny. Fast-forwarding through everyone’s lives was a little jarring, especially when the mother died. That was sad. Apparently there was some foreshadowing to this but I totally missed it.

Those are my thoughts. Did you watch it? What did you think?

Book Workin

I thought I would pop in and offer up some writing updates! I haven’t been blogging much lately, so I’m probably overdue.

I recently finished the first round of rewrite on the sequel to What the Dead Fear. That was a giant pain in my rear that went on far longer than it should have. The rough draft was about 26000 words, while the rewrite version was about 36000.

It was very intensive with changes to almost every paragraph. So, what went wrong in the first round? I was off my game; that much is clear. The story wasn’t as developed as it should have been. I also had some realizations about the story toward the end, which resulted in many changes throughout. The whole rewrite was very tedious, but worth the trouble, I think.

The current project is my first read of the middle grade novel. I was worried that this would be in bad shape like the novella. Thank God it’s okay because it’s about 95,000 words right now. It’s the longest book I’ve written, and if I had to spend the next year rewriting it, I might have cried. I actually took a 4-day weekend to get a jump on it, during which time, I got through about half of the book.

I’m very pleased with it, not only because of the whole ease of edit thing. I think if I can get someone to really look at it and give it a chance, they might want to publish it. I’m going to give that road a go. Someone will want this book.

I plan to get through as much of the read as I can this weekend, so I can send it off to lady editor. I’ve got about 1/6 of it left. I anticipate smooth sailing. *knock on wood*

And that’s all I have to say about that…for now.

movie twofer and a trailer

Greetings, my internet homies. I have been absent, yes I know, but I am here now. And I have movies.

Movie: The Wolverine

wolverine

Description from IMDB: When Wolverine is summoned to Japan by an old acquaintance, he is embroiled in a conflict that forces him to confront his own demons.”

I am quite fond of the x-men. I am quite fond of Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. However, I didn’t really love this movie.

The story takes place in Japan and often has the vibe of a cheesy kung-fu movie. It was too long, the villainess, Viper, was too over the top bad. There were actually a few characters who were over the top bad, but she was the worst offender.

Jean Grey made a couple of appearances in his dreams. She seemed to be trying to talk him into dying, which was weird. Yes, I know she was just symbolic of his struggle to want to keep on living, blah, blah, blah, but it was still creepy.

The fight scenes, which consisted of martial-arts style combat, were pretty awesome. One occurs on the top of train. That was pretty kickass. And, of course, another bright point of the movie is shirtless Hugh Jackman. Yes! I’m always up for that.

One character who I thought could’ve been a bigger part of the story was Yukio. She had this bright pink hair and badass fighting skills, and reminded me a bit of Leeloo in The Fifth Element. For much of the movie, she was kind of sidelined. Lame.
The Wolverine is okay but not awesome. It gets a C.

Movie: The Great Gatsby

gatsby

Description from IMDB: “A Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor.”

I haven’t read this book in forever and a day, so I apologize that I can’t tell you how faithfully it keeps to the book.

Everything about this movie, especially at the beginning, is artful and deliberate. The action has a kind of rhythm to it, like the characters might break into song at any minute. Don’t worry; they don’t. The actual soundtrack fuses old with new, which is cool and befitting of a movie that energetic.

I also liked the fanciness. There’s plenty of it. Glamor, money, shiny cars, mansions like castles. It’s all so very pretty look at.

The Great Gatsby has substance as well. The sadness is almost as intense as the happiness. I really just want to give Gatsby a huge hug. The movie gets an A.

Now for trailer time. HAVE YOU SEEN the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer? I have! Okay, at first, I was unfamiliar with Guardians of the Galaxy. I figured it would be dorky like the Green Lantern, and let’s face it, no one wants that. After seeing the trailer, I know that I must see this movie in the movie theater. It reminds me a little of Ice Pirates. Does anyone but me remember that little flick from the 80s? It has this gritty kind of crude, yet comic vibe to it that I dig.

movie: Elysium

I am glad to report that the fish is still living. Is he better? Who knows? I can’t tell.

This weekend, we watched Elysium.

elysium

Description from IMDB: “In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.”

Elysium has some great visual effects. The space station is very cool, a blend of slick technology and mansions with manicured lawns in outer space. Yes.

I wasn’t really feeling the main character, Max, all that much. He was kind of boring and seemed to be Mr. Magoo-in’ it through most of the movie. Supposedly, he had this crazy criminal past but none of that really came through in his personality. His friends were more interesting than he was.

The story didn’t seem all that well-developed, either. There was almost too much going on for any of it to be fully developed.

Elysium was your typical downtrodden common man versus the upper class rebellion story. The movie was decent. Not life-altering but worth a watch. It gets a C+.

movie: World War Z

I successfully administered medicine to a fish this weekend. It was successful in that I did not kill the fish. I do not know if the medicine will help him yet, but I can say that he seems significantly more energetic. We think he has the fin rot. My daughter figured that out. It’s either that or tuberculosis. Yes, apparently, fish tuberculosis is a thing.

We also watched World War Z.

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Description from IMDB: “United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.”

I didn’t care much about this movie when it came out in the theaters. I was probably suffering from zombie fatigue. I was feeling a little bit better about it when we finally got it from the Netflix.

It has much in common with other zombie movies. There are a few things that set it apart. The zombies have this recklessness about them. They hurl themselves mindlessly and crawl over each other. They also do this weird teeth clamping thing. It’s pretty creepy.

I liked Brad Pitt’s character, Gerry. He seemed more thoughtful than the usual zombie movie protagonist, not really as much of a badass. He was more brains than brawn, which was good.

World War Z had a good mix of action and thought. It gets an A.