Skip to content

Month: September 2013

[Plotting About] September's Metrics or Cresting 100k or NaNoWrimo is one and half months away…

shouldbewriting3
Yeh, I need to start making my own You Should be Writing icons. Thanks to Tumblr for the above image and several more.
A quick local shout out to Jen Butler Basile’s Chopping Potatoes and Bennett North’s blog.
Both blogs are fun to read with Jen’s covering motherhood with fun pictures and Bennett’s posts on ranging from movie reviews to ongoing SF&F and geek politics.
Novel Update:
The Where Weavers Daire K BAR count is:

After my last update, I went back and took an entire chapter out because it broke with my stay with one of the protagonist for three chapters plan and got rid of two chapters because they went in the wrong direction.
The goods news is scenes from three of those chapters are savable and shuffled.
And then I found out my first nine chapters had been formatted with 1.5 spacing and not double as the other chapters were. My 14-15 page max rule for chapters kinda went out the window but that’s what editing is there for.
Formatting may be as boring as all get out but I like to get it down before I start writing. This is why I created a template in Word to cover all the margins, spacing and indenting without using the tab key.
Cresting the 100k hill felt good even if I had bounced back and forth over the line by adding/subtracting chapters to get to where I am now. I can see the end which I already wrote so it’s just the knock down drag out fight between Spencer and the villain.
I also raised the cut off ceiling to 120k. The agents at the panel I went to at SDCC said don’t worry about the word count and just write it. Half of that advice was already echoed by the writing group.
NaNoWrimo Update:
With 2.5 months to go before NaNoWrimo, I decided not to re-up for municipal liaison duties.
As much as I enjoy trying to coordinate I don’t know what I’ll be doing in November and I’d rather commit than quit a week before hand. My plans are to plot out Book Two of Weaver before going into November and be done with Book One of Weaver by the end of September.
Convention Update:
Yeh, the SDCC pictures aren’t getting tweaked until the novel is finished. I have a list of people I bought stuff from that I want to pass on. That’ll be in the future post.
Emerald City Comic Con tickets have gone up sale. In line with prices from last year, if no one has been to Seattle it’s a great con to go to. Nice people. Good amount of venders and the guests they have lined up is growing.
They’ve extended the con to all of Friday and will be mailing out badges this year. That sound you heard was everyone who stood in line for two hours this year breathing a sigh of relief.
They haven’t taken the extra step of incorporating RFID into the badges like NYCC has but one can assume that’s on the horizon.
New Television Season:
I’ll post some television ramblin’ later since the new season starts next week…

[Movie Review] Byzantium

byzantium-poster-180412
Byzantium directed by Neil Jordan and staring Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton as two vampires surviving in present day Britain, running from town to town as the bodies stack up all the while two investigators played by Uri Gavriel and Sam Riley nip at their ever growing trail.
This movie does not try to be something it’s not. It doesn’t over extent itself, it doesn’t burden the plot with too many ideas. I would say it’s gender roles are switched from Interview with a Vampire which was also directed by Neil Jordan.
The movie follows Clara played by Gemma and her daughter, Eleanor played by Saoirse living out life, Clara as a stripper and Eleanor as the teenager that will never grow up and writes down her tale of woe that is revealed to the audience in dribs and drabs.
Clara has her way of getting blood and Eleanor has her way and both are fairly straight forward until a former beau tracks down Clara and ends up losing his head.
So, a tank of gasoline fueled fire later and the girls are off to another town.
Several truck rides later they end up in a seaside town that looks fun to Clara but Eleanor knows she’s been here before since it turns out to be the same town they were born in. Clara goes back to what she knows and finds a rube in the form of Noel played Daniel Mays and sets up a make shift brothel in an old hotel called Byzantium.
Eleanor and Clara’s actions/roles are reversed. Clara dresses like the free wheeling spirit that she is while Eleanor in her red hoody desperately wants a friend.
Both of their histories are played out through the use of flashbacks. The flashbacks don’t become a drinking game and are kept to a minimum and or in Eleanor’s case it simply happens in front of her. Their histories and the people they’ve touch over two hundred years will continue to haunt them until the end of the movie. From the Johnny Lee Miller’s bastard captain to Sam Riley’s calm Lieutenant to Eleanor’s new friend, a waiter named Frank played Caleb Landry Jones.
The empire building for the vampire society is not as structured as the one found in Blade. Vampires powers are fairly weak which allows for a great deal of walking around in daylight. No fangs. No bodies turning into ash. No super strength or suggestive powers. No type of sire hierarchy.
Just a cocaine nail to suck the blood out.
So with no way to make a Vampire how do they do it?
Each of the characters come across an island in their travels. The island has a stone cabin and inside that cabin is a duplicate of themselves.
Or at least we’re made to believe it’s them. Since most of the vampires are made some two hundred years ago this doppleganer-type of presence is creepy. Once they become a vampire the island which is gushing with waterfalls already flows with blood.
Yes, I know, Gemma’s heaving bosom covered in blood, right? Yep. And tastefully done no less. Sure the blood waterfalls were post-production but it looked creepy.
Unfortunately, this vampire society is not very forward thinking so it should come as no surprise when a woman (and a hooker no less) becomes a vampire the men aren’t too happy and banish Clara and her daughter until they catch up with them in the end.
I found the movie enjoyable because it focused on the characters and not their powers. This could have turned into a blood bath but the blood is kept to a minimum and the acting from all parties involved made the movie worth renting.

[Movie Review] Hell Baby

hellbabyposter
Hell Baby written and directed by Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon of Reno 911 fame tries and fails to spoof the horror genre. Starring Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb as couple moving into a wonderful home in New Orleans just in time for the arrival of their first child.
Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon play two chain smoking priests from the Church that specialize in exorcisms while Keegan Michael Key plays the neighbor next door that general breaks in and gives the charming couple the bloody backstory on the house.
And along the way there’s a gratuitous, drawn out scene of nudity with Rikki Lindholm that just goes to show the script needed one more pass.
Now having just gotten into American Horror Story’s first season this movie hits on several recurring themes: the supposedly creepy spirit haunting the house, the possession of the pregnant woman, the house acting out like stacking boxes to vex Rob Corddry and of course the aforementioned exorcism by the two priests. I’m going to ignore Rikki Lindholm’s character trying to exorcise the house with mind altering drugs.
It should be funny. It should be funnier. It should be funny to watch the creepy spirit turn out to be an old shriveled up old naked woman who the couple have to bury in the back yard. This creates great tension only to find the tension evaporates when she wakes up uninjured.
The priests are ineffective and while they got the look down they spin their wheels until the last act when the hell baby arrives and an all out fisticuffs begins. The fisticuffs was great. Who doesn’t love it when grown adults punch and wail on a demon baby puppet.
I wanted to like this movie but it comes up far short. The ingredients are there for a funny flick. The characters are there and so is the setting but Leslie Bibb barely gets time to shine and when she does she’s plays a great possessed pregnant lady drinking turpentine, smoking and speaking pit bull.
I found Balls of Fury to be a funny and well directed movie so seeing this just makes me wonder what happened. Wait for it to appear on cable, not worth spending your money.
This earns the Paulie Award.
paulie

[Movie Review] Riddick

riddick-poster1
Riddick directed and written by David Twohy with Vin Diesel returning to the titular role of Richard B. Riddick that made him famous in 2000 with Pitch Black. Four years later Chronicles of Riddick came out and while it cast was stellar the plot not so much and so now 9 years later Twohy goes back to the roots of what made Pitch Black so interesting: people trying to survive on an alien world with no help in sight and oh by the way: blood thirsty animals are trying to kill you. It’s a B-level movie with A level stars.
Riddick begins with Riddick rising from the dead after being left by his Necromongers, a brief cameo by Karl Urban reprising his role as Vaako dangles the carrot of helping find his homeworld. Riddick takes it hook line and one fall off a tall cliff later and Riddick has to fend for his life because everything on this world is trying to kill him.
The size of Chronicles that made the movie so bloated is turned down to focus for the first act on Riddick surviving. From making weapons to poisoning himself to build up an immunity to the toxicity to even getting a dog which just like Tony Stark getting a kid sidekick in Iron Man 3 is good thing. The Mad Max vibe was prefect since the feline CGI creature from Chronicles was probably the best thing of the entire movie.
The helpful discovery by Riddick’s dog that things may get worse moves the plot along to a deserted Mercenary encampment and a giant: SOS button that brings down several ships. They’e all looking for one thing: Riddick, preferably dead.
Two sets of crews, a merc crew led by Santana played by Jordi Mollà and a military crew led by Boss Johns played by Matt Nable their differing styles helps give the soon to be redshirts and one red skirt, Dahl played by Katee Sackoff. Along with their arrival is large call back to Pitch Black with Boss Johns being the father of departed drug addict/law man Johns played by Cole Hauser.
Once the ships are disabled (so Riddick doesn’t take them, smart move) the countdown clock begins and Riddick’s psychologically messing with the crew is a great call back to Pitch Black even if Pitch Black did it with cleaner cuts. The bodies being to drop one by one, some unseen by Riddick and some by the little beasties that come out of the ground when a rain storm hits.
And for the most part it works. Dahl is given enough story to work with and is not treated as arm candy, Johs is looking for answers to why his son is dead and Santana just wants to get paid and get off the rock. Most of the merc characters are given enough personalities to not come off as cardboard cut outs. It’s unfortunate, Nick Chinlund couldn’t reprise his role of Toombs. All in all it’s drama with action and not an action movie with drama.
The planet itself along with it’s creatures is fun little place from the dingos to the eels in the water to the long tailed scorpions that serve as the main villain of the movie. I heartily agree with some of the other reviewers that some of the shots looked very Frazetta-esque.
The ending was a little bit of the let down and so were the SFX sounds for the lasers. I may sound like a whiney geek but did the SFX for those lasers sound so weak. Don’t get me wrong I’m happy to see a science fiction franchise that isn’t Resident Evil getting a second go round but sometimes the SFX sounded too B-movie.
In hindsight it would have been nice to begin and end the movie with Vaako. Something other than what we got because it felt like after surviving this journey through this planet and escaping by the skin of his teeth there was no prize besides escape and while that sounds like a great emotional prize it’s the physical prize (no Katee Sackoff is not treated as a prize, thankfully) that I was looking for just something besides Riddick riding off into the sunset like in Pitch Black.
Good movie and probably worth seeing in IMAX.

[Movie Review] The Colony

colony_ver2_xlg
The Colony is a science fiction/horror movie directed by Jeff Renfroe. It stars Lawrence Fishburn, Bill Paxton, Charlotte Sullivan and Kevin Zegers as a group of people surviving in the inhospitable world of Earth after mankind tried and failed to fix global warming with weather machines. The world they live in now is not pretty without medicine to cure the colds the infected have two options take a walk into the snow or bullet.