Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Last Airbender Kicked Ass on the fx, and Harry Potter returned again, and again, until the Paranormal Activity started.

We watched a lot of movies this weekend, thanks to the Harry Potter marathon ABC Family had on. My wife loves it, we have all the movies and will get the next two, but for me, I enjoy it for the special effects. However, once or twice a year is okay. Every other weekend is a little too much. She really wanted to see clips from the new movies so we put up with the commercials until about 7 pm.

I closed my eyes and grabbed an envelope, pulling out a DVD and slipping it into the player. The first movie we saw was Kick Ass. This is the story of the wimpy kid in school that wants to amount to something in life. Unfortunately he picked crime fighting.

His very first attempt is not very successful and he ends up in a hospital. But this doesn’t stop him and he continues fighting crime and eventually meets two more crime fighters, a father and daughter team, one of which is Nicholas Cage. (The only star I recognized in this.)

This movie has an interesting, if over used plot; the humor is almost there, with enough prate falls that you’re dying by the end, only because you had to sit through it. Surprisingly enough, the ending was okay, no goose bumps for me. It’s a great kid’s movie, except for the blood and language which knocks this movie up to the point where the kids won’t be able to see it.

 The next one we saw was The Last Airbender. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my stepdaughter informed me it was based on a cartoon. The cartoon was better, according to them, which according to me made this was a slow waste of good time. The special effects were great; the acting was a little over done. M. Night Shymalan wrote and directed this movie, but by far this is not his best. (Even if I did figure it out before it was revealed The Village is his best work.)

 One thing you must know about me before I throw in the last movie, I do not watch many newer horror movies because I don’t like the blood, gore and senseless screaming. Also, the last movie that actually made me jump out of my seat was a scene from Jaws.

Somehow, we got our hands on a copy of Paranormal Activity 2. The kids already saw it and let us know this was a prequel, which is good because I never saw Paranormal Activity 1. (It always makes sense to have the first part of a story line come after the first movie, just ask George Lucas.)

The story begins when a new family moves into a house and after a few break-ins, they install surveillance cameras throughout. The entire movie is seen through the eyes of these cameras and a video camera.

I liked the way this was told, very original idea with the cameras. I read on the IMDB that there were consistencies in this, but I have a feeling some of them were part of the story. (I had to tell the kids it was only a movie). A few scenes gave me goose bumps, but not one made me jump like I did in 1976, seated in a crowded theater watching Richard Dreyfuss scuba diving around the hull of an abandoned boat.

Of all the junk we watched this weekend this is the only one I would recommend, except for Harry Potter of course.

 I haven’t given myself the time to do any writing recently, (does this count?) or reading. I’m guessing that I am weird because I need absolute quiet when I do either. Not to mention the fact that I play in Azeroth way too much. However, the beginnings for a sequel to Journey of Tara are beginning to form in my head. By the time Nanowrimo kicks off I may have just enough notes to complete it.



Weekend Movies

We had a little more time on our hands this weekend and watched five movies, and a couple more episodes of the second season of Lost, (I’m still lost ~ and so are they.)

I should call this the Bill Nighy marathon, not on purpose.

The first three we watched were the Underworld movies, we started off with Underworld: Rise of the Lykins. If you like vampires and werewolves, this is your kind of movie. Just don’t think too hard about it as you are enjoying the blood and violence. I’m sure there was a lot in it, but it was hard to tell because it was so dark. This is not really the very beginning, but it is close.

Bill Nighy is Viktor, an ancient Vampire trying to preserve his race in a war against the lycans, better known as werewolves. Also along for the ride is his daughter Sonya, played by the beautiful Rhona Mitra. Born among the Creatures of the night is Lucian, played by Michael Sheen. He is different; he can change whenever he wants to into a werewolf. Victor keeps him as a slave, with a necklace that stops him from turning. All this takes place in the 1400’s I think. Lucian accidently falls in love with Sonya which pisses off Viktor and things start to change. I won’t ruin the ending, but you have all probably seen it anyway. It is basically a short little movie that was similar to Romeo and Juliette with a little Beauty and the Beast thrown in for fun. I enjoyed this very much; I have always between a sucker for good makeup and special effects. The main issue I had was the night scenes were a little too dark to make them out clearly. There was also no gratuitous sex in this one. I don’t think I would have liked living back then, everyone was always moody and fighting.

Next in line was Underworld. The sexy Kate Beckinsale is Selene, a Death Hunter (vampire) on the search for werewolves. She discovers deceit and a secret the wolves are looking for – some rare immortal blood is surging through the veins of Michael (played by Scott Speedman). During the whole movie she manages to wake up Victor who in turn has his own issues. I would be a little grumpy too if I had to sleep over four centuries. Through death and destruction, Michael and Selene escape and become the hunted. That’s where this ends…

…and Underworld Evolution begins. But first – another history lesson that invents – I mean introduces two brothers, one bitten by a bat, one bitten by a werewolf – both of immortal blood. (See above). They are basically the beginning of the races – Personally, I like Luanne Rice’s take on the beginnings of Vampires. I suppose that is what instantly turned me off to this series when I first saw them. This marathon was my wife’s idea, she loves all things vampires, but she refuses to watch Bela Lugosi in the original Dracula. Well back to the movie – Marcus, the next head vampire in line to be awaken wakes up pissed – he is the first, and he learns of the deceit that happened in the movie before him. After killing everyone in his coven, he starts his hunt for his brother – the werewolf. Through more violence, death, and a very short sex scene with Michael and Selene, things start to heat up with more action and death and rebirth and death. I am beginging to see a theme here.

Next – was Wild Target. Bill Nighy stars as a perfect hit man with a strong case of OCD. He always gets his man, or in this case, his woman. It seems to run in the family since his dad was in the same profession and his mother is behind him all the way. Until he decides not to kill a target (Hey – I’ve seen this theme before) who just happens to be Rose, played by Emily Blunt. He saves her instead and they are both now being chased by more killers hired by the guy that hired him. Unfortunately, along for the ride is Tony, played very badly by Rubert Grint. I think he was in here to give the movie some levity; it really didn’t need it because watching Bill Nighy as a serious all business hit man was funny enough. Also mixed up with the British humor – I thought this was a very good, sometimes humorous movie. It got three stars. I think Rubert did this to wash away the Harry Potter residue – in a few scenes we see him soaking in a bubble bath while smoking a cigarette and he ends up shooting one man twice, at which point Bill decides to make him his apprentice. Uhh,. Bill, he shot the SAME GUY TWICE! At the end of the movie I think he was still alive.

Even with that, it is still a pretty funny movie. Not the funniest, but pretty good.

Now for the clincher; there is a movie out there called Monters. This is not the animated movie but a Sci-Fi flick about some aliens brought back from the Moon, of all places. These are very dangerous to Earthlings and are kept in a quarantined zone in Mexico. This is where it lost me, well maybe that and the bad acting and the lousy effects that were so bad they could only be shot in the dark!

I had a little piece wrote up on Lost, but I seem to have misplaced it.

Oh, before I forget, check out Wistful Nebulae A great blog by a good friend, MPax.

Hope you liked today’s reviews. More to come next week, Kick-Ass and The Last Airbender

The weekend movie list:

Okay, here we go – something new. First I will explain where this idea came from. At our house we record all our favorite shows so we can zip through the commercials as fast as possible when they come on. I usually don’t have control of the remote; it is glued to my wives hand. But once we finish the list we usually have time for more TV. We have been relaying on Netflix and their play on demand they have on the Playstation 3. Or the two movies they send me once a week. Don’t worry Mr. Egbert – your job is safe.

Our movies for the week were Cop Out and Hot Tub Time machine. I received them from Netflix and I honestly cannot figure out where they get their suggestions for me. (I think the kids have been watching stuff under my account on the play it now features.)

The first movie we watched was Hot Tub Time Machine. Okay, I like the idea of this movie, a group of college friends who have stayed together since the 80’s go to a resort where they spent one wild weekend while in college. During their stay – the hot tub shorts and they are whisked into the past. Like I said – good idea – I have always loved time travel stories…until I watched this one.

I only recognized three stars, Chevy Chase as the repair man sent from somewhere to fix the hot tub since they broke it on their trip, John Cusack as one of the college bums whose life hasn’t been all that he hoped it would be, and the guy that played Marty McFly’s dad in the Back to the Future movies, I can’t remember his name. (Crispin Glover – I looked it up) He played the one armed bell hop that has had the same job since the last time they were there. I liked his performance in this, one running gag in the film *SPOILER ALERT* is when they arrive back in time the bell hop has both his arms and there is an ever flowing gag as to when he will lose it. Like all time travel stories, they need to figure out why they are when they are and how to get back. They do this with more cussing than is needed. (Why do screen writers believe they have to use the F word so much?) Included in this trip is a son of one of them – John Cusack’s nephew – he doesn’t know who his father is, but he needs to find out before he disappears. All ends up well at the end – even better for some. I admit I did laugh a little and snicker once or twice, but I would not recommend this movie unless you are high or drunk.

COP OUT; this movie is also a complete waste of time. Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan as two cops who can’t seem to do their job right, a plot line that has been run down so many time you saw tire tracks on the film. I suppose Bruce is in dire need of money or he was bribed to make this film. Only he knows. As for Tracy Morgan – uh…Who? I didn’t know him at the beginning of this movie – but the wife did. I admit – sometimes I don’t pay as much attention as I should but I did notice his astounding ability to over act to Bruce’s straight man, non emotional partner. Even the movie quotes and scenes Morgan does are not as entertaining as one may think.

To fill in the empty space – which happened to be one whole day – we found Spartacus Season two, Blood and Sand. I suppose this was on the Starz network – since I remember hearing about it a little – but never really saw it. To be honest I like the movie with Kirk Douglas a lot better. I only recognized *three stars on this one, Lucy Lawless, who does an awesome job at playing Lucretia, wife of Batiatus (John Hannah from The Mummy series of movies) who owns a house of slaves in Rome and both are very cunningly devious to get what they want. The effects they used to make this look like Rome, including a nicely done Coliseum, are good. The photography reminded me a little of “300.”  I think maybe this is what they tried to do. The story line is good, a soldier is sold into slavery and ends up at the House of Batiatus and named Spartacus. All he wants to do is escape and find his wife, which for the favor of being a good little slave and not complaining about fighting in the arena, Batiatus promises to find her and bring her to him, which he does do eventually. Through lies, sex, deceit, sex, murder, sex and violence, with a little more sex, we watch as the House of Batiatus begins to crumble.

I know it is supposed to be visually impressive when you see three gallons of blood squirt out of someone’s body – but this is way too much blood for me. I admit I am not a doctor, (but I watch a lot of CSI shows) however I didn’t think the human body had that many arteries that would cause that much blood splatter. The amount of sex in this show would classify it as soft porn; they spared nothing from the camera. I know the Romans were very – hum…preoccupied with sex, but I have never seen so many orgies or sex scenes in one show or movie, unless I got it from the Hustler store. You can guarantee at least two, maybe three scenes of sex per episode. Man on man, man on woman, slave on slave, woman on woman, you name it, this show has it. (I have always wondered if they are actually doing this when they are supposed to be acting, if not, that is damn fine acting). One other thing, I got the impression that the writers tried to immolate Shakespeare since most of the dialogue, which they did have between sex takes, sounded like his play, Julius Caeser.  

*The other familiar face I thought I saw was from Season 1, which was way better than Season 2, but I think I was wrong – or the wife was. I thought I recognized her as being the female agent on Warehouse 13, but I am not sure since it does not appear in Joanne Kelly’s credit listing in IMDB, and if it aint on the net, it aint true! Or so says my step son.

Maybe the Romans did really talk like that, have wild orgies like that, I know they liked their arena fights! I wasn’t there. But let me warm up my hot tub and I will check it out.

March Madness and more

The door opens, creaking from rusted hinges and echoing through the empty blog. I stick my head out – waving shyly.

It’s been a few days since I made an appearance in here, but I will try to catch up.  

My books, Journey of Tara and The Set’la are now available on Barnes and Noble and Smashwords. (I did a search on Amazon for them, but couldn’t find them listed.) They are both in desperate need of reviews so please let me know how you like them. I have had very favorable comments on both of them so I am doing a March Madness sale.

Only on Smashwords until the 15th of March, you can get Journey of Tara {use coupon code HH39D} and The Set’la {use coupon code QT34P} for the low, low price of a click. That would be FREE! Yeah, I don’t care about making money, I just love to write. I just don’t do it as much as I should.

All I do ask is that you leave a review once you have a chance to read it.

Trying to desperately fall asleep to Criminal Minds, the repeats on A & E I thought of a sequel to Journey of Tara and I honestly thought of getting up, kicking my stepson off my computer, so I could start it. As I look back, I should have done just that – because I have since forgotten. The wife was sound asleep anyway and I didn’t want to wake her up by moving.

I think I’ll be spending the day in Azeroth trying to remember it.

I recently received a copy of King Solomons Journey by Sammy Sutton I am greatly enjoying it so far. Thanks Sammy.

Recently I finished The Yaakmen of Tyrie by Mark Paul Jacobs. I gave it five stars. Here is my review:

In the northern most continent of a strange alien world live a group of humans. As they battle to survive during a rough winter that only seems to be getting tougher as time goes on, they discover clues to their past, clues pointing southward into a strange new territory. Quintar is a high ranking Yaakrider, Yaaks are huge beasts that seem to form an affinity with their riders, is thrust into politics unwillingly and after a winter of fighting against terrifying snow beasts begins a journey southward through uncharted territory filled with magnificent wonders, treacherous dangers, snobbish warlords and new technology, all to discover a lost secret about their unknown past.

In The Yaakman of Tyrie Mark Paul Jacobs has invented a fresh new world and a culture with very believable characters, intriguing subplots and a mystery that will have you guessing till the end. I would recommend this book to you if you enjoy science fiction adventures on strange new worlds

That’s it for me today – maybe.

Question, do you think that is too many hyperlinks? I like doing those.