movie: Seven Psychopaths

seven

Description from IMDB: “A struggling screenwriter inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld after his oddball friends kidnap a gangster’s beloved Shih Tzu.”

The cast in this movie is crazy awesome: Woody Harrelson, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Walken. There are other people who are equally awesome and have smaller parts like Gabourey Sidibe.

Colin Farrell’s character, Marty the writer, starts out frustrated. He has an idea for a screenplay about seven psychopaths, so his goal is to find ideas for the characters. He finds them, some in places he didn’t expect, and ends up in quite the predicament.

Crazy stuff goes down. The story takes quite a few twists and turns in an awesome way. Obviously, I can’t get into it without major spoiler action. It gets emotional at times. It gets weird sometimes. With the exception of a couple of lags of pace, it was really good. Seven Psychopaths gets an A-.

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Lazy Literary Agents In Self-Publishing Money Grab via Argo Navis

Shady, shady business, my friends. I realize everyone is trying to find a way to keep on going, but, ethically, this is a push in the wrong direction.

David Gaughran

argoI was at the London Book Fair last week – and I’ll be blogging about that soon – when the news broke that David Mamet is to self-publish his next book.

His reasons? “Publishing is like Hollywood—nobody ever does the marketing they promise.”

While I think it’s great that someone as high-profile as David Mamet is self-publishing, I was very disappointed to find out the way he’s doing it.

Self-publishing is big business. By my estimates, self-publishers have captured 25% of the US ebook market. It can be lucrative on the individual author level too, with writers getting up to 70% royalties if they publish themselves.

The reason why those percentages are so high is that self-publishing allows you to bypass the traditional middlemen (agents, publishers, distributors) who each took their own slice of the pie before the author saw any money.

Literary agents in particular must be worried…

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movie: Chernobyl Diaries

chernobyl

 

Description from IMDB: “Six tourists hire an extreme tour guide who takes them to the abandoned city Pripyat, the former home to the workers of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor. During their exploration, they soon discover they are not alone.”

The movie begins with American tourists in Ukraine. The movie makers did a good job of setting the mood. The friends are friendly but understandably hesitant when one of them suggests they take a tour of Chernobyl with a guy who offers extreme tourism services. They aren’t actually supposed to be in Chernobyl because, you know, there’s still radiation there. It was the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history.

Chernobyl makes for a cool movie setting because the buildings and some of the residents’ possessions are still there. The abandoned city vibe is what sets this movie apart.

However, once you get past all the interesting history stuff, what’s left is just a regular, old horror movie. It wasn’t bad. It had genuinely spooky parts every now and then, but it could’ve been so much more. I wanted to know more. I had follow-up questions.

So basically, Chernobyl Diaries was definitely watchable, but could have used more story with less running around. It gets a B-.

Boston

I read this today and am sharing it. I have trouble processing any event in which people die violently, most especially when kids are involved. This quote from Patton Oswalt made me feel much better. If I knew him, I would thank him for it. He posted this on Facebook. For your clicking convenience, the link is below it.

 

patton

“Boston. Fucking horrible.

I remember, when 9/11 went down, my reaction was, “Well, I’ve had it with humanity.”

But I was wrong. I don’t know what’s going to be revealed to be behind all of this mayhem. One human insect or a poisonous mass of broken sociopaths.

But here’s what I DO know. If it’s one person or a HUNDRED people, that number is not even a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a percent of the population on this planet. You watch the videos of the carnage and there are people running TOWARDS the destruction to help out. (Thanks FAKE Gallery founder and owner Paul Kozlowski for pointing this out to me). This is a giant planet and we’re lucky to live on it but there are prices and penalties incurred for the daily miracle of existence. One of them is, every once in awhile, the wiring of a tiny sliver of the species gets snarled and they’re pointed towards darkness.

But the vast majority stands against that darkness and, like white blood cells attacking a virus, they dilute and weaken and eventually wash away the evil doers and, more importantly, the damage they wreak. This is beyond religion or creed or nation. We would not be here if humanity were inherently evil. We’d have eaten ourselves alive long ago.

So when you spot violence, or bigotry, or intolerance or fear or just garden-variety misogyny, hatred or ignorance, just look it in the eye and think, “The good outnumber you, and we always will.” ”

https://www.facebook.com/pattonoswalt/posts/10151440800582655

 

movie: John Dies at the End

Sorry for the shortness of the post. We were out and about a little later than usual due to some people occupying our house. They might buy it, so I guess that’s okay.

john dies

Description from IMDB: “A new street drug that sends its users across time and dimensions has one drawback: some people return as no longer human. Can two college dropouts save humankind from this silent, otherworldly invasion?”

This is one of those movies you either get or you don’t. The vibe is a mix of Supernatural (TV show) meets Army of Darkness, with a splash of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy level weirdness. There’s a ton of action and some very funny parts, which are funniest if you’re paying attention.

My only complaint is that they didn’t quite wrap everything up. Most things, yes. John Dies at the End gets a B+.

book trailer complete

Despite my resistance to completing this project, it’s finished! It actually only took about 8 hours all together.

So why the resistance to completion? I was being a chicken. I’m actually a giant coward. This is the last thing I needed to do before working on putting together the kickstarter campaign I plan to do. As long as I was working on the trailer, I didn’t have to worry about it. A state of working is a very safe place for me.

My goal with the kickstarter campaign is to raise some money for advertising because my advertising budget is basically nothing. I don’t make enough money from my writing to justify draining the family checking account.

Oh wait…should I admit that?

Worrying about the kickstarter campaign is silly anyway because it’s pretty much a win whether or not I raise any money. Even if no one buys in, I still get to slap my name and book info up on a website. Free exposure. Woo! That’s well within the budget.

Here’s the trailer. I put the graphics together in fireworks, did the animation in powerpoint, exported it as a windows media video and imported it to window live movie maker to add the music.

The great and powerful oz has spoken.