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Month: August 2014

[Doctor Who Review] Into the Dalek

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(Image courtesy of David Catterall)
The carry over from the Matt Smith years continues with the Doctor in the beginning of his journey only to have to pick Clara up from school before dashing off to face down the pepper shakers of doom.
The ole’ Daleks are back! Ha za! No more Skittle colored Daleks to be found! No Devros. No Emperor Dalek. No eye stalks coming out people’s heads. No creep factor that was Asylum of the Daleks. Instead, we do actually go to the most dangerous place in all the universe.
Taking place on a human ship hiding in an asteroid belt from the Daleks, the Doctor rescues, Journey Blue played by Zawe Ashton just as her space ship is about to be blown up and returns her to her uncle, Col. Morgan Blue played by Michael Smiley on board the aforementioned spaceship, Aristotle and is greeted by an imprisoned Dalek that cares.
Meanwhile, Clara is introduced to Danny Pink played by Samuel Anderson, a former soldier who from most reports will be another companion this year. Danny isn’t dragged along this time and is left for most of the episode so the Doctor, Clara, Journey and 2 red shirts can be micronized into a Dalek to see what’s wrong with it.
Yep, it’s Doctor Who meets Fantastic Voyage (which oddly enough hasn’t been remade, yet).
The interior of the Dalek is a fun set piece. It may look like people climbing through a big computer. But anything with roving eyes that act as anti-bodies is pretty creepy cool. It feels more real than the dungeon set piece from Deep Breath.
The Daleks and the Doctor may have been enemies before but since the Time War it’s gotten worse. Once the Dalek’s problem is fixed it goes back to the same ole’ Exterminate routine and the solution to the problem works until the Doctor goes one step further and we get a similar problem to The Fourth Doctor’s situation in The Face of Evil. Kids, never imprint your 900+ year old brain onto anyone, m’kay?
The conclusion feels foreboding enough and one might wonder if the Doctor’s hatred will cool because of this or if two angry people are going to their separate corners of the universe only to come back for a rematch.
Capaldi continues to handle things well. He’s a bit sharp around the edges which is both good and bad. His treatment of the red shirts and women in particular does need a bit fine tuning to say the least. Most of the time he’s great then sometimes you have to wonder why the writers typed that in.
Thankfully he’s surrounded by strong women this episode and more than once gets slapped and pushed against the wall demanding to know why he just let someone die after giving them false hope.
Journey tries to hop a ride but the Doctor turns her down due to her tenancy to shoot first and ask politely later. If and when the next companion slot opens up, I hope they’d return to the character to see if she’s changed.
The ongoing plot thread for this season is Missy. First introduced in last weeks episode and welcoming the antagonistic robot to the “promised land”, she welcomes one of the red shirts to “Heaven” and offers her tea.
So who is Missy, exactly? Theories are running the gamut from Rani to TARDIS to Master. I’m happy we’re getting something. The last season with the Great Intelligence wasn’t so great and lack any emotional punch or set up. The Doctor does need an ongoing plot in the background to keep things interesting from a crack in the wall to John Saxon.

[Plotting About] August 2014 / Week 1 / Where Weavers Daire / Chapter 31

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Welcome to August.
Welcome to the one year anniversary of me going freelance.
Welcome to the end of Chapter Thirty, the last chapter I had written in 2013 before figuring out: Well, shit, I guess I’ll go back and re-write the first third so it makes sense.
It gets squishy from here even if I’ve written the last chapter already.
Okay so I lie a little bit about squishy part.
I foresee passing the 120k ceiling for this first draft. Revisions will probably bring that down to a normal level.
And I’m submitting it in it’s entirely to the writing group in a week.
No pressure.
That brings the Where Weavers Daire K BAR count to:

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Association of Rhode Island Authors Meet and Greet, 8/9/14

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Association of Rhode Island Authors is having a Meet and Greet at Warwick Public Library in Rooms 100+101 on 8/9/14 from 10am – 3pm.
Facebook Event Page can be found here to RSVP.
Featured authors:
Kimberly Kowal Arcand, Julien Ayotte, Yvette Nachmias Baeu, Judith Boss, Kristen Calenda, Paul F. Caranci, Ana Cruz, Christine DePetrillo, Carol Desforges, Edwin Lionel Flynn, Hannah Goodman, J.M. Griffin, Patricia Hinkley, Lynne C. Holden, Nancy James, Zoie Jenkins, Matt Keefer, Alex Kimmel, Joseph Mazzenga, Jane McCarthy, Rachael L. McIntosh, Joann Mead, Vanessa Paniccia, Cris Pfeil, Joanne Phillips, Dawn Porter, Steven R. Porter, Martha Reynolds, Heather Rigney, Theresa Schimmel, JD Spikes, Mike Squatrito, Tom Trabulsi, Marie Younkin-Waldman, Adam Wasserman
This event is free and open to all.

[Movie Review] Guardians of the Galaxy

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Guardians of the Galaxy is almost the perfect summer blockbuster.
It stars a ragtag group of hooligans including a talking tree and raccoon voiced by Vince Diesel and Bradley Cooper respectively.
And it’s from Marvel.
And it’s fun!
Even if the background music by Marvel go-to composer Tyler Bates has gotten too cookie cuter for it’s own good.
It begins on Earth in 1988 with young moppet Jason Quill at the hospital as his mother is dying from cancer. After a tearful goodbye he runs out and in his moment of grief is abducted by aliens.
Flash forward twenty-six years to a dead world where Jason Quill now played by Chris Pratt has grown up and is now a Ravager, essentially Indiana Jones with a mask, guns and jet boots. He even has a cute code name that no one remembers, Star Lord. And Star Lord along with everyone else in the movie is after an orb.
Everyone including Ronan the Accuser played by Lee Pace. The good news is Ronan has a few lackeys that are rememberable and at least gets more backstory than Thor 2’s Dark Elves. He pissed at the fact his planet signed a peace treaty with their sworn enemies and goes on a rampage.
His rent-a-lackeys include Gamora played by Zoe Saldana and Nebula played by Karen Gillian. Gamora makes more of an impression since there are too many villains to focus on including Korath the Pursuer played by Djimon Hounsou.
Gamora volunteers to get the gem back once Quill reaches Xandar, home of the Nova Corps. Unfortunately, Quill’s former Ravagers led by Yondu played by Michael Rooker has found out he stole the orb and issues a bounty on his head.
Once on Xandar, Rocket Raccoon and Groot are introduced when they try and capture Quill. The fight scene between the four of the characters is really fun until they’re arrested and sent to jail mean Drax the destroyer where even more shenanigans happen and they bust themselves out only to find out what the orb does.
Benicio del Toro reprises his role as The Collector, last seen at the end of Thor 2 where he collects all sorts of oddities, both alive and dead. After some backstory on the orbs and an explosive scene everyone finds out what’s inside the orb: It holds an Infinity Stone.
The stones have been littering the Marvel Movies for years and it’s all because of Thanos, introduced at the end of The Avengers, the mad titan, now played by Josh Brolin.
Thanos feels oddly small, mostly because Ronan is so big. Once Ronan figures out how to use the gem just like the Red Skull before him he gets even bigger and decides it’s time to destroy Xandar.
The Nova Corps know full well what’s going on with Roanan. Nova Prime played by Glenn Close is strong enough in her scenes to not be set dressing while John C. Reilly is not exactly the Coulson of Nova Corps but close.
The final battle may occur over Xandar and I swore scenes were inspired by the video game Space Invaders, the disaster porn is thankfully kept to a minimum. After Star Trek Into Darkness, Avengers and especially Man of Steel, seeing ships crash into buildings gets a yawn from me.
I should point out the CGI raccoon and talking tree are 100% real. James Gunn pulled off a talking raccoon with a penchant for explosives and a talking tree that speaks three words.
If that review sounds like a lot is going on is because a lot did go on.
And even with all that, the characters did have their arcs. There’s a scene where Quill has to rally the group and that went a long way to show everyone was thinking for themselves until the threat of Ronan makes them rethink and band together.
Many people have complained about the Marvel movies having a generic feel to them like they’re all the same. Guardians feels different. It feels like a James Gunn directed an Edgar Wright movie.
Quill’s walkman and the mix tapes he has sets the tone and makes it feel less like a Marvel movie and more like a kid plucked away from Earth dropped into Star Wars with a 70’s pop soundtrack.
The music and the fact most of these characters aren’t lily white really helped make an impression.
Saw this in IMAX 3-D and thought it was worth the monies.
And as with any Marvel Movie staying around until the end will only bring you heartache.
There’s only one scene.
So sezs Howard the Duck.
Yer welcome.