Monday, October 31, 2011

Mind Sieve 10/31/11

This week was chuck full of links on Twitter, so there's a lot of sifting to go through to get you the best I can find. Diving in now!

A cool featurette on "Tin Tin" with Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. (OMG! Just saw Steven Moffat was part of the screenplay writers!  Woot! This is so going to ROCK!) (Does Moffat ever sleep?)

This is also super cool! Curiosity is the next rover that will go to Mars. It's bigger, with more equipment, and more! There's a quick video comparing the two and other info. Sweet!

Shared by brasonja, a post from sharing 40 Personal Letterheads of Influential People. Some of these are quite fun!

SonnerCon shared a link to a blog post with a 13 minute remake of Batman's The Killing Joke with Shadow Puppets!!! Mind boggling! (In Spanish, but you'll want to watch it anyway! Trust me.) :)

Catie Rhodes has a nifty post about History vs. The Ghost Story when she talks about Louisiana's Myrtle's Plantation.

From Read, Write, Web - Meet the New Digital Public Library of America. Oooo! This has possibilites!

FansOfMovie shared this preview to The Chronicle. I'd no idea what this was. Make sure to at least watch a full minute. The film is not what it first looks like. It was like DANG! has a sneak peak at a godly confrontation in the movie "Immortals". Looks fun!

Nathan Fillion sent a link to this post about Joss Whedon's latest project Much Ado About Nothing. With the peeps in this cast, this will be a ball!

From William Shatner - Bohemian Rhapsody.  I apologize up front, but you won't be able to look away~! lol.  

FansOfMovie also had a link to the Borrowers Movie!  Woot! Done by Studio Ghibli with the English translation through Disney. It's called The Secret World of Arriety. Looks GREAT!

Gene Lempp's Designing From Bones series - this week - The Copper Treasure Scroll. Fun stuff. Will get the mind percolating for sure. :)

Agent Rachelle Gardner has a nice eye opening post called Publishing in the Brave New World.

I don't normally have time to watch videos on marketing but this one is only 60 Seconds Long. Peter Shankman on Grow A Twitter Following.

Roni Loren did a nice post on Author Websites: What Do Readers Want? (We're making the things for you after all right? We want to give you what you want! :P)

Roni also has a thoughtful post about Killing the Mystique: Can You Know Too Much About Your Favorite Authors?  (Familiarity breeds contempt? Bwahahahahaha!)

From Kristen Lamb - Numbers Are Our Friends - Writers and the Wild World of Metrics.

And one from Jami Gold that adds even more to the pot - The Insanity Behind the Pressure to Have "Numbers" (as pertaining to social media).

From The Blood-Red Pencil - Things That Drive an Editor Crazy. (Bwahahahaha! Oh, wait, we're NOT supposed to want to do that. :P) Good stuff to keep in mind.

From Chuck (NSFW) Wendig - 25 Reasons You Won't Finish That Story. Bravo!

Structure Part 4 - Testing Your Idea - Is It Strong Enough to Make an Interesting Novel? by Kristen Lamb.

Dang it, eyes are rolling into the back of my head. Guess this is it for this week! Happy reading!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Price of Mercy Book Trailer!

Ah yes, I've gone off and created yet another lame book trailer. Huzzah!
Luckily the torture only lasts a little over a minute and a half. :P

Let the torture begin!

The Price of Mercy - Fantasy Novel by Gloria Oliver

Friday, October 28, 2011

Movie Review - The Rum Diary

(Can't got see Puss-n-Boots or In Time since hubby is at a cutover! So went to see this instead. (Hey, since I ask him not to see stuff I want to see when I'm at cons, I can only do the same for when he has to work, no?) :)

The Rum Diary

Starring: Johnny Depp, Aaron Eckhart, Michael Rispoli, Amber Head, Richard Jenkins, Giovanni Ribisi, Amaury Molasco, Marshall Bell, Bill Smitrovich, Julian Holloway, and more.

Directed by: Bruce Robinson  Screenplay by: Bruce Robinson Based on the Novel by: Hunter S Thompson Original Music by: Christopher Young.

Premise: In 1960, Paul Kemp, a failed novelist/freelance reporter lies to get a job at an end of the line newspaper in Puerto Rico, The San Juan Star. On a path of self destruction, he inconveniently meets the woman of his dreams. But she belongs to another, a man interested in using Paul's fiction making skills to squeeze all the money he can from the tourist boon on the Emerald Isle, burying the natural beauty and the natives in his way while he's at it. (Rated R)

Review: I was interested in seeing this movie for two reasons - 1) Johnny Depp 2) Puerto Rico.  I got decent amounts of both.

Happily they actually filmed on location, so you see bits and pieces of the island (not enough!), but even better a lot of the sounds. (If you're in the country or mountains, the sounds of roosters are super common. And the coqui, a small frog indigenous to the island, has a very particular sound you'll get to hear.) CGI was used to turn back the clock here and there as open, untouched pieces of beach front property are rare in this day and age.  But the CGI was virtually seamless, which was totally awesome for setting up the past.

Strangely, though, you get extreme views of the people living on the island itself. The super rich and the super poor. The reporters themselves falling into the pretty poor category.  Of middle class life there was very little, if any, seen.  But I suppose it aligned things better for the points being made in the film. And places like the shanty town shown in the movie still exist today, like everywhere.

The acting was superb and there are several laugh out loud moments. Mr. Depp makes a great fish out of water, and he makes the slide into deeper destruction easy to believe. And he's not alone, befriending Sala and Moburg, two other journalists spiraling into darkness as greed and corruption deepen.

Yet it is in this darkness with little hope that Kemp finally finds himself and his voice. But all is not happily ever after as you'll see. Though the film ends on a bitter note, you're given an uplift by text to take the sting out. Not sure it quite worked as intended though. Or even enough.

Did love the LSD scene and a quote from it "You're high! (As in it was a bad thing) Have some rum!" (As in it would help - NOT). Better in context. lol.

To Boricua's and jouralists/authors this movie will resonate because of the subject matter and pieces of the journey. Though they did try to explain and throw in subliminally as much as they could about the time period and the island, not sure what regular audiences will get from it. But it is a nice piece of history not often covered, even if set in a fictional venue.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 10/26/11

Getting to be that time of year where the sunrises and sunsets align with my commute. Yay!

Loved the delienation between the cloud banks and the actual sunrise. (4th floor view)

Yummy cupcake we had Saturday after watching Poltergeist on the big screen for a friend's b-day! (Cupcake has a caramel 6 sided die and R2P for Roll 2 Play, Tiffany's game store.)

Gorgeous Sunset working up on Saturday!

Monday 10/24 was the day of SUPER FOG!  Though in Texas, it felt like we were in London that morning. Loads of fog everywhere!

And for something that fits the Halloween Holiday!  Zombie Pumpkins!

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mind Sieve 10/24/11

Time to percolate and see what's left over. :P

From FansOfMovie and Total Films - Two New Posters for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Pretty spiffy too!

Shared by Seth Green, from BBC News - Real-life Jedi: Pushing the Limits of Mind Control. Totally fascinating article. So many possible applications! And a Japanese company actually called Cyberdyne! lol.

Gene Lempp's Designing From Bones feature - Ancient Silk Route. Oh such lovely info! This is the type of stuff world building thrives on.

Got Blog Fatigue? Post by Sonia Medeiros. And honestly, this is to say nothing of us poor peeps who work all day and also write and have families! There are only so many hours in the day! Aiiieee!

From Kristen Lamb in a guest post at Jane Friedman's blog - Three Blunders that Can KILL Your Author Platform.

Succinct and to the point - Plot is Exactly Like a Hail Storm from Words From the Woods.

From Kristen Lamb - Structure Part 3 - Introducing the Opposition.Good tips!

25 Questions To Ask as You Write from Chuck (NSFW) Wendig.  Totally AWESOME list to keep in mind as you're working on your current WIP. Go, Wendig, Go!

Okay, I'm stopping here. Hubby's told me that Dues Ex: Human Revolution's add on -  Missing Link is OUT! (And that he bought it. *drool* Want to play NOW! But I was good and sifted through some fodder for you. So now it's REWARD for me time! Booyah!)  Have an awesome week!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Movie Review - The Three Muketeers

The Three Musketeers

Starring: Matthew Macfadyen, Milla Jovovich, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson, Orlando Bloom, Logan Lerman, Madds Mikkelsen, Christoph Waltz, Freddie Fox, Gabriella Wilde, Juno Temple, James Corden and more.

Directed by: Paul W S Anderson Screenplay by: Alex Litvak and Andrew Davies  Based on the Novel by: Alexandre Dumas Original Music by: Paul Haslinger

Premise: D'Artagnan leaves home to go to Paris to join the King's Musketeers. However, when he finds them, he's told the musketeers are no more and that all is not well in France as Cardinal Richlieu plays for power with the young king. Then the Cardinal sets a plot in motion, helped along by Milady de Winter, which may push England and France to war unless the Musketeers regain their drive and go put a stop to it. (Rated PG-13)

Review:  If you've followed my reviews for a while, you've come to know I have certain things I will see no matter who or what put them together - the Three Musketeers is one of those.

Be prepared. If you're a purist, this movie is not for you. If anachronisms bother you - not for you. However, if you want something fun, fast paced, with some innovative ideas, and fresh takes on some of the beloved characters thrown in, plus lots of great fights and some explosions - this IS for you!

Yes - Alexandre Dumas meets Mission Impossible meets Wrath of Khan. I kid you not! (For those of you with SF flowing through your veins, you'll know what I mean when you get there. Try to restrain yourselves from standing up and yelling out "KHAN!" If I can do it, so can you. :P)

Orlando Bloom as the Duke of Buckingham is nothing like you'll be expecting and he was a total BLAST! Milla Jovovich was actually a very fun Milady even with the stolen signature moves from her Resident Evil films. Freddie Fox was a totally wonderful King  Louis, he was great for comedic relief, several touching moments, and more.

Sadly Christoph Waltz and Madds Mikkelsen didn't get enough face time to show the true oozing Evil they can be. Mr. Mikkelsen suffered the most, but he did get an awesome sword fight, so that made up for a lot. The rest of the cast did great work as well, even those with minor bits.

The beginning credits and several other sections did wonderful maps with miniatures and even had them do things. Very innovative and worked extremely well! 

The sets, the costumes, all top notch! And even accurate. As I mentioned earlier, however, the dialogue is incredibly modern with many cliche phrases thrown in. And very few, if any of the actors, actually had French accents. Still, a lot of good dialogue zingers, and even some Word Fu, which was quite nice.

The general plot and a lot of details are just like the Three Musketeers novel (though it's been a LONG time since I read it) and looked like some homage was paid to the Three Musketeers film with Michael York. (That one wasn't entirely serious rendition either, though more tongue-in-cheek I think than this one.)

With some Da Vinci inventions thrown in we even get some Airship Fu. And they still gave us several just darn fun sword fighting scenes to get our musketeer on.

So overall, the movie was way too much fun! Fast paced, lots of comedic touches, good sword fu, airship fu, some word fu, betrayals, politics, fantastical science but not way-way over the top. If you want a fast romp with lots to see and hear and FUN, this one's for you.

Rating:  4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Would Pay Full Price to See It Again!)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 10/19/11

Been sick this week, but I still have a few things to share.  Enjoy!

Shared by Dexography, a neat pic called Interesting Shore by Ivan Andreevich.

Picmarket shred this Earth Photo of the Day - Sierra Twilight by Harry Lichtman.

From ZombieSchmombie a Chilly MIchigan Sunrise.

From NASA and the Cassini Solstice Mission - Pedent Pair.

Petapixel has some Amazing Macro Photos of Animal Eyes.  Here's one of them. They're creepy!

Petapixel has Worlds Captured in Drops of Water. Here's a sample.

Have a great rest of the week!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mind Sieve 10/17/11

Got a brain full to sift through this week. Here we go! gives us our first look at the new Snow White movie. Looks neat! (Wish the pics weren't on that slideshow thingie, I'd give you a preview!)

Passion: More Than Just a Fruit - Tanya Huff's take on authors and fans. (If you've never read any of her fantasy, urban fantasy, or SF - GO! NOW! She's awesome!)

Bioware Pulse episode 44 - Dragonage and Felicia Day - insider info on how they made her and elf for the game. Cute!

Artist Gavin J Rothery has a very cool take on Blade Runner - Deckhart's humanity and where he might have gotten it. Too cool! (I'd never contemplated this angle!) (Ooo! Looked over his blog site. He worked on the movie Moon! Sweet!)

Chadbourne shared this neat article from BBC News about an Aboriginal Stonehenge in Australia called Wurdi Youang.
Arthur Christmas Trailer 3!  Aha! Finally get to know what it's about. Should be awesome!!!

From Den of Geek - Stephen Moffat on the future of Dr Who. Oh what a tease!

From Total Film - Theater Etiqutte Muppet Style. Heh heh heh.

Marcia Richards shares info on A Very Haunted Prison. Nice creepy info and place! shared a trailer for the Raven starring John Cusack as Edgar Allen Poe. Looks good!

Gene Lempp did a guest post over at EduClaytion called Agents of the Squirrel Nations. I don't think I will ever look at Gene the same way again! (The three different squirrel videos are a hoot!) Be afraid. Be very afraid!

Marvel has released a trailer for The Avengers!  Woot!  Looks fun!

Cute post by John Scalzi on Things Science Fiction Has Ruined For Me. ("Khaaan!") And Shatner did use his phone as a communicator in an episode of Boston Legal. Hee hee!

Gene Lempp takes us on a trip to discover our Theatrical Roots. Fascinating to see how plays and terms changed over time in Greece alone.

From Q&A with 'Weird Al' Yankovik on the 'Apocalypse' tour.

From BBC News - Black Death Genetic Code 'Built' by Matt McGrath. Interesting findings on this.

Tahlia Newland shares The Art of Tweeting - What Catches Your Eye?  Nice look into what makes a tweet interesting to catch a reader's interest.

From Jody Hedlund - The Purpose of Blogging for Fiction Writers. Some nice insights.

Thought provoking post by Alexis Grant - How Important Are Comments on Your Blog?

From Kristen Lamb Meet the Salesman -  Every Deal Needs a Closer

Structure Part 2 - Plot Problems - Falcor the Luck Dragon and The Purple Tornado. (Sounds like a good mixed drink. :P)

Uhm, I think I petered out there at the end. Ugh. Somehow time for away from me. Hopefully I'll do better next week! Have a good one, ya'll!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Movie Review - The Ides of March

The Ides of March

Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, and more...

Directed by: George Clooney  Screenplay by: Goerge Clooney, Grant Heslov, and Beau Willimon Based on the play: "Farragut North" by Beau Willimon Music by: Alexandre Desplat

Premise: With two weeks to the close of the Ohio Democratic primary on a very close race, what had been, up to that point, a wonderful campaign with a presidential nomination just within reach, starts going sour. All set in motion with an innocent mistake. (Rated R)

Review: I'm going to try to give as little of this away as possible so I don't spoil any of the surprises!  The film is a political thriller of sorts.

It starts out with life going the way Stephen Myers, Mike Morris's assistant campaign manager, and those around him want and have worked hard for, then takes an unexpected turn. And the sequence of events from then on just keep dragging everything along with it downhill. Timing is everything and none of it good for our protagonist.

It's a look at the hidden side of politics, media reporting, the desire to win, and the cost that is sometimes paid for victory. 

Great performances by the whole cast. Make sure to take a mental picture of Stephen when the movie starts and compare to what you see when the movie ends. This is what a crushed and destroyed soul looks like.

Definitely not a happily ever after movie. But very thought provoking. And scarily, too realistic in too many ways. :) The title The Ides of March fits for more than just the date of the primary even if the daggers weren't real, and the setting not the Roman senate floor. Disillusionment, betrayal, despair, and people with ice for blood. lol.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission) 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Picture Kaleidoscope 10/12/11 - Fandays Edition

This past weekend I was over at Fandays 2011. Fandays is a day for all things Star Wars. Got a combo of phone and camera pics (forgot the camera the 1st day). Let's see what I got that not super blurry to share. :P

Some great armored type dudes all over the place.

Loved the little chameleon guy. He's a hat.

The guy below is a Zombie Trooper. heh heh

Regular Storm Troopers

Steampunk Storm Trooper and Bounty Hunter! I loved all the leds on the trooper.

Clone Wars cartoon Troopers above.

This guy and gal didn't know each other but both made clothes from the Star Wars material.  Was funny watching them yack about the process.

Super heaby trooper!

No Star Wars day is complete without the Sith Lord.

This one killed me! Darth Vader as a chef with Jar Jar Bink's head on a platter. Heh heh

Billy Dee Williams. He really seemed to enjoy posing with folks.

Dragon Lady on stilts. Real nice get up.

Cold weather Storm Trooper.

Forest Storm Trooper.

The Superman Family! So cute!!

 More of the Dragon Lady. The legs are stilts. She bounced and danced on those. lol.

Darth Vader's personal wing men troopers

Julie Benz and Claire Kramer.

Super cool t-shirt. Had to get it for hubby!

The Irving Convention Center - which aptly enough looks like a Jawa transport. Heh heh.

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