Jupiter Ascending

I’ve been looking forward to this since seeing the first trailers. Not necessarily because I thought it was going to be an amazing movie. Not even because the Wachowski’s. I wanted to see it because it was an original science fiction / fantasy movie made at a time when movies have been dominated by sequels, remakes, and films based on books. It’s an original story, which we so rarely see in the theaters.

That said… saying it’s original is a little bit of a stretch. Instead, it feels like the Wachowski’s have watched all the anime, read all the sci-fi/fantasy books, and seen all the movies that I have over the last five years, and they threw everything into a single movie. The story in this movie feels too big for the run time. It’s all over the place, introducing ideas and then abandoning them. Much of the secondary cast is only in the movie for short scene or two and then disappears. There’s so much going on, that 90% of Mila Kunis’ scenes are spent with her being explained what has just happened.

It’s not good writing, the action scenes are nothing new or amazing. I still enjoyed it though. It’s a middle of the road space opera that deserves to be watched just so Hollywood gets the idea that THIS is the kind of thing they need to be doing.

Make NEW stuff, please!

Horns

I recently watched the movie for Horns on Netflix. I had wanted to see it in the theaters, but nobody was showing it in the entire Dallas area. I have no idea what’s up with that. Anyways, I had read the book back in July and I thought the movie looked pretty good. Here’s my thoughts on both the book and the movie.

The book – I loved it. I read it in a couple days in South Padre on vacation last summer. It’s the first novel by Joe Hill I have read (and still the only one), but I loved Locke & Key as well. The story here is great and Joe Hill writes it in a way that keeps suspense high, while also including horror and dark humor. It’s great.

The movie – Most of the complaints I heard about this movie were “Daniel Radcliffe’s accent was horrible.” Please, his accent was fine. What was horrible was the script by Keith Bunin and direction by Alexandre Aja. I try not to be one of those people who is like “The book was so much better,” or “the book did this differently,” but come on – when you have a good story right there that readers have already loved, why does a screenwriter feel the need to change SO much of it? There was no need for the changes that took place in the movie and every change made it worse.

That said… the movie was okay. I think the only reason I liked it at all was because I read the book first, which is weird. My girlfriend said it was an awful movie, but I attempted to defend it by saying, “Well here is what the book was going for…”

It’s not a movie that I can really recommend. Read the book instead.

Writing and Stuff

Writing: I’m still chugging away on the third draft of Rockwatch (which I think I’m going to rename The Chained God). It’s going a little slower than I expected, because I’ve been stuck on a couple scenes that I’m adding in. In this draft, I’m adding two new chapters, which have been a little tough to write. I’m going to finish the last part of the second chapter today, however, so I should be done with this draft soon. I can’t wait.

I’ve also been working a bit on a couple short stories. I have three kicking around in my head right now. One, I have outlined, but it will probably not be the first one I write. I have another one in my head about a dinosaur riding bounty hunter that I think will be a fun distraction that wont take too long.

Other stuff:

Books I’ve recently read –

the-keep

The Keep by F.Paul Wilson – Fantastic horror story about vampires and nazis. I thought it was really well done and had some great scares in it. I enjoyed it very much.

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The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester – I read this one for my book club (Sword and Laser) on Goodreads. It’s the very first Hugo award winner for best novel, and I thought it was deserving of that title. It reminded me a lot of Minority Report (which I’ve only seen the movie, unfortunately). I thought it had some very interesting ideas and liked that it was kept short and didn’t overstay its welcome. I finished it quickly and will be remembering it for a long time.

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The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl  by Barry Lyga – I read this one at my girlfriends request. I’m glad that she introduced me to this author because he seems like a really cool guy, and he’s a great writer as well. I thought he did a great job here, but I had a hard time with the story for personal reasons. It was very dark, and reminded me a little too much of my highschool experience. I just didn’t have much fun with it, aside from the many comic book references, which I loved.

I’m currently reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch and so far I love it. If you want to follow/friend me on Goodreads, here is my profile: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1598686-james-witherspoon

Movie stuff:

Insidious: The Second Chapter – I really liked the first Insidious. I think James Wan is a pretty great storyteller. I liked the Saw series, because of the unexpected way that each movie played with the others. I loved The Conjuring. This one is a bit of a step down, but I still enjoyed it for the most part. The scares are different here, with less tension being built up and more physical scares. I really didn’t think that Insidious needed a sequel, but I’ll still watch them, as I’m sure that now it’s going to become an annual series, at least for a while.

Games:

Grand Theft Auto V – I’m several hours into GTA5 now, and wow, it’s so good. I’ve had to promise myself that I wouldn’t play until I have written, but it’s still distracting me from my work, of course. I’m enjoying the character swapping, the special abilities, and the story. Can’t wait to get further into it and unlock more of the world.

That’s all for today. Hopefully the next post will be informing that I have finished the third draft of Rockwatch. Can’t wait to get it out to my alpha readers and get some feedback. That always motivates me.