Why You Shouldn’t Bother with TSCC

… perhaps that picture isn’t the best non-motivator.

Oh well.

If you’re a Terminator super fan like I am, chances are you’re not thrilled with where the series has gone.

Terminator 1 to me was a Jason-style slasher flick. Borderline horror movie. It was good as movies go, definitely ahead of its time. However one that could have wound up on the ‘forgettable’ list.

Terminator 2: In the 80s, James Cameron was a visionary… how far he’s fallen since then… However, this is a story for another post. Terminator 2 did for this series what Aliens did for the Alien series… set the bar WAY too high. It completely changed the medium of the series from an unstoppable back guy who kills anyone who gets in his way, to an emotional, heart-felt, action/adventure movie. You found yourself suddenly rooting for the guy you were fearing in the last movie… even though you knew he likely wouldn’t survive. The special effects were way ahead of their time and the story blew me away. I will argue that Sarah herself was a little TOO crazy in this movie… and hard to like, but I’ll give it a pass.

Terminator 3: … I think most people try to pretend this movie doesn’t exist. Outside of a fan service bad guy… this movie did nothing except give the studio excuses to make more movies and completely invalid everything that happened in T2. Suddenly Miles died for nothing and the second terminator was wrong. UGH! The Golden Age of Terminator was clearly over. I still watch this movie because… well as action movies go, it was passable!

Terminator Salvation: A movie that covers the resistance movement??? RIGHT ON!!! We’ve been waiting for this!! I’m not really a huge fan of Christian Bale or Sam Worthington, but they did a serviceable job in this movie. This clears up quite a bit about how Connor and Reese meet and how Connor becomes leader of the resistance. I will say that Connor is a little more deified than I would have liked, but I suppose that was unavoidable. All in all, it was a good movie, minus the absence of Arnold.

Terminator Salvation Animated: … I own it, but haven’t watched it all the way through. It’s okay… but I can’t really speak to the story. Moving on…

Terminator Genisys: When I heard about the premise for this movie… yeah I wasn’t enthusiastic. How could anyone do better than Linda Hamilton? I admit I didn’t hear/see anything more until I showed up at the movie. Then I saw her… “Wait… that’s Daenerys Targaryen… YOU CAST DAENERYS TARGARYEN AS SARAH CONNOR!?!?!?”
Keep in mind, this was back when she was still being stripped naked and bent over by her Dothraki king. Then I see her actually go to work in the movie and… I was pleasantly surprised. Daenerys (yes I know her name is Emilia Clarke, but lets face it, you all know her as Daenerys), actually pulls off a good Sarah Connor. I wasn’t a fan of their stand in for Kyle Reese, and Arnold… I’ll admit I liked how they explained the Terminator’s age. I honestly thought it was a good movie. I know I’m in the minority when it comes to Genisys, and what happens to John isn’t really well fleshed out, but I actually enjoyed that movie. Bring on the torches and pitchforks!

So where does the Terminator Sarah Connor Chronicles fit in? Honestly… it doesn’t. I’m not going to pretend that the timeline makes ANY sense whatsoever!!! BECAUSE IT DOESN’T!!! People have written books trying to explain this away. Near as I can figure out… TSCC happens as a result of John Connor’s survival of Terminator 3, at which point he sends Cameron back to invalidate that stupid movie. (Thank God)
And then the John Connor from TSCC somehow sends another Terminator back to just wipe the entire drawing board clear and start ‘fresh.’
Confused? You should be, but this is the best I’ve got. Let some other quantum theorist figure the rest out. I subscribe to the divergent timelines theory and that doesn’t hold up here.

Anyway, The Sarah Connor Chronicles stars Lena Headey as Sarah Connor and… OH MY GOD, YES!!!! I’m sorry, unpopular opinion, Cersei blows Linda Hamilton and Daenerys out of the water. I know, I know, most people love Linda Hamilton’s performance and she’s the iconic version… but honestly, I don’t see her portrayal being sustainable in a TV series. She was just too belligerent and insane to make an effective character for long. Lena’s Sarah Connor has that emotional instability, but tempers it with far more motherly instinct.
Thomas Dekker as John definitely reminds me more of T2 John than T3. I’m happy with his performance.
Cameron… what can I say about her? She’s portrayed by Summer Glau… and her previous smash role in Firefly should have been foreshadowing as to what would happen… She portrays a TOK715 from the 900 series of Terminator. Near as I can figure out, she’s a recon Terminator… perhaps even an infiltration unit as she is far better at passing for a human than the T800 series. Though her programming seems more advanced, she definitely seems less advanced than the T1000 series.

The series focuses in several different themes. Sarah is haunted not only by the future and what could happen to John, but also the prospect that she may not be around much longer due to cancer.
John’s story is more of a coming of age tale where he has to deal with the prospect of being humanity’s savior, and also being a normal kid.
Cameron… is the Commander Data of this story. She’s seemingly emotionless, though I’m not convinced of this, but she strives to better understand humans while at the same time protecting John and Sarah. She’s also quite possibly self-aware.

The third and final theme, and perhaps the most interesting one, is the connection between Cameron and John. A potential romance between a human and a terminator is something that was never explored before. I know it turned off a lot of people, but I actually kind of liked that idea.

So with everything positive I said about the show… why on Earth am I saying not to bother with it? Because its just not fleshed out. Unfortunately, the show only got two seasons, was plagued by poor reviews, and was ultimately cancelled. I watched the show religiously and enjoyed every minute of it.

Cancellation means that they didn’t answer WAY too many questions and the Season 2 finale was a cliffhanger that really hurt. All of the plot lines from seasons 1 and 2 were left wide open and literally nothing is accomplished.

Because of this, the series is little more than a fragment of what would have been an amazing series. If you really want to experience it, I’d recommend the first season ALONE! The second season essentially opens way to many plot threads that, thanks to its cancellation, go nowhere.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

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Total Drama: The Ridonculous Review

Oh… what does one say about this little gem of Canadian programming?

Imagine pairing Jay and Silent Bob,
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Chris Farley and David Spade:
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Bill and Ted
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part of the cast of Police Academy:
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Your wise-cracking father and his tennis partner:
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and

The Stars of Beauty and the Bitch:
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into teams and having them race for a prize of one million dollars…

You’d have about as hilarious a show as you could come up with!

I watched Total Dram Island/Action, the show this was spun from, when it was released on the Cartoon network so many years ago. It was funny and good for a laugh… and then I decided to let my kids watch it because I was getting annoyed with the stuff they typically had on. (Seriously, there’s only so many times you can watch ‘My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic’ before it starts messing with your sanity!)

The plan backfired and my wife and I wound up watching it more than they did. Anyway, I had no idea that this show made it into a fourth or fifth season… let alone a spinoff.

Well we made it through the comical yet somewhat repetitive Total Drama series and then saw the Ridonculous Race. We’d really had enough and were ready to move on to something else, but decided to at least give the first episode a watch.

… It’s been a long time since I laughed that hard. Seriously, this is just one of those shows where once it starts, it just doesn’t stop! There is literally no relief of low point throughout the show. Whoever the writers were, they deserve a lot of credit. Creating a show that just constantly lands jokes over and over again until you’re laughing so hard that you can’t breathe… and then does it again with the next episode, cannot be easy.

Animation-wise, the show is stylized like its predecessor and somewhat basic, but I give that a pass as you can’t have it all. We weren’t going to get 3-D animation when clearly the show spent the majority of its money on writers, of which I have no complaints about.

Every team has their quirks, you wind up rooting for more then one (Unless its the skaters… did anyone really want to see them win?) and are saddened when they’re eliminated, but then there is always a team to replace them.

So honestly, if you are in need of a laugh, this show will GUARANTEED give you just what you need!!!

Here’s a little clip of one of my favorite episodes:

Enjoy and happy laughing!!!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Stardust: Being a Review Within the Realms of Faerie

The book, turned into a very popular movie that has quickly achieved cult status, was published in 1998. Originally it started out as a written story that was published in comic book form (sort of). Neil Gaiman, the author, wanted artwork displayed with the book and from what I read, convinced his friend Charles Vess to do the illustrations. It was published by… of all people, DC Comics!

Keep in mind though, this is NOT a comic book. Far far from it. Given the layout, the way the illustrations tend to flow around the words, and the drop cap, illuminated caps at the beginning of each chapter… I have to say that its closer to looking like a medieval book (See book of hours for further reference.)

It’s written in a very old world form of English and will require a slightly more expanded vocabulary to fully appreciate the writing. I personally love that Gaiman chose to do this as it fits in with the type of story that it is. This is written as a very traditional fantasy, paying homage to the pre-Tolkien styles and stories that many of us grew up with.

So I just finished the book… and… honestly I’m kind of on the fence about this one.

Why? Well… maybe because I saw the movie first… ill-advised, I know, but my introduced me to it. I didn’t even know a book existed until about a year later. So in typical collector fashion, I sought out a first edition… and found one that was Autographed by Charles Vess.

So going through this book, it reads fairly similar to the movie. It starts off dealing with Dunstan Thorn and then follows the adventures of his son Tristran (Not Tristan) Thorn as he searches for the fallen star to bring back to his true love.

Overall, the book definitely delves a lot more into the world of Faerie (Not Stormhold). The book starts off kind of slow, as most traditional fantasies do. In fact, the star barely makes an appearance until about half way through. We’re also introduced to many characters, including a nymph tree, a rabbit-like hairy man, among others.

The artwork is also sort of a fairy tale, old-world style, which compliments the book nicely and is unexpectedly dazzling to look at:

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Keeping in mind though… THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN’S BOOK AND I MEAN BY ANY STRETCH!

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However there are several things that I don’t like about this story, and again, this may be more the movie’s fault!

Spoilers ahead folks, be ready!


So what did I like about the book?
As I said, the artwork, the expansive story, the overall writing style, and a completely original world that we haven’t seen before. The character development was great, the relationship between the main cast was very well fleshed out, and motivations behind everything they did were clearly established.

What didn’t I like?
The sky pirates aren’t as developed as they were in the movie and the captains hobbies are not explored either as they are in the movie. The movie took quite a bit of dramatic license.

The ending… my God the ending… This is one of those rare books where its strong enough to survive an iffy conclusion. Again, this is partially the fault of the movie. Where the movie ends with Tristran and the Star living many years together and then leaving for the Heavens to live together forever as stars… in the book the star can NEVER return to her domain. After Tristran dies, the immortal star becomes the lady of Stormhold and rules by herself. The book ends by saying that she spends her nights up in the highest tower looking up at the heavens, sadly.

Ugh!!! Maybe I’m just a pampered brat, but this is not my kind of ending. It left me unsatisfied and really just looking at it like ‘…. what the heck!?’

I might recommend skipping the Epilogue.

Now again, maybe I’d feel different if I’d read the book first, but I didn’t.


So with all this in mind, what is my overall rating?

4/5 Stars.

I can’t in good conscience downvote the book because of the movie. As far as I’m concerned, they are not the same story. Where one expands, the other cuts back. The book covers more time, but the movie really gets the character better. The relationship in the movie feels rushed and almost cliched and is explained far better in the book.

Do I recommend it? Hell yes! It is an amazing story in its own right and is one that fantasy junkies like myself will love for years to come. This gem of a book is going on my shelf right next to my first edition NeverEnding Story and Silmarillion.

Have you read it? Let me know what you think in the comments.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.

jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com

I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.

Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!

Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Rare Reviews… Star Wars Darth Plagueiss

… … … You remember how I said that I HATE having to denigrate someone else’s work? Well…

All right, I went into this book SUPER ENTHUSIASTIC!!! I didn’t even read the synopsis. I wanted to hear about the tragedy of Darth Plagueiss The Wise. To me, this was something that I’d been curious about for a long time. So I finally sat down and began to read…

And I read….

And I read…

And for change of pace… I read…

And then about half way through I bought the audio book…

And I listened…

And I… yeah you get the idea.

This book is long, REALLY REALLY long and drawn out! It is as slow moving as they come. This basically starts off with Plagueiss betraying his master and becoming the lord of the Sith. He disagrees with Bane’s rules and seeks to understand the will of the force… and even become the physical embodiment of it.

Unfortunately the book sort of tries to balance Plagueiss’ life between his dark side pursuits and his dealings in galactic politics, including the Trade Federation and the Banking Clan… because that worked out so well in the prequels.

Unfortunately, the dark side aspect seems to lose out and we find ourselves dealing more in galactic politics. If you’re looking to hear about the Sith and their philosophies… you’ll get it, but it will be sort of more of a footnote than anything else. You’ll also get a lot of background to Palpatine and how he came to be a senator.

Spoiler Alert:

This book confirms a theory that I’ve long dismissed as inaccurate, because the evidence doesn’t back it up… 

Palpatine was the apprentice who slew Plagueiss. UGH!!! Look, one of the few redeemable qualities about the prequels took place in Episode 3, which in my opinion was the only one that was really up to par with the original trilogy. Specifically this scene:

 

This scene is powerful on several levels, but perhaps the most impressive part is the story Palpatine tells about the tragedy of Darth Plagueiss. This was powerful because it is the first time in the actual movies that we are exposed to the Star Wars Universe’s mythos and beliefs. The tragedy of Darth Plagueiss could have been a moral tale about the quest for power. When I hear Palpatine speak of it, I think of Plagueiss as an almost shakespearian tale. An ancient Sith Lord that had discovered powers within the force that, by the time of Palpatine, had long since been forgotten.

This book ruins that. Essentially it turns Plagueiss into little more than a pawn in Palpatine’s rise to power and that’s it.

It’s my personal opinion, but in the end… I didn’t care for this book.

The story: When it actually deals with the dark side, its decent… However the politics of the galactic senate are as boring here as they were in the prequels. In the end, it explains too much that should have been left to the reader’s imagination.

The Characters: Honestly, I found them somewhat stale and predictable.

The Writing: WAY too slow. This whole story is far too drawn out for my taste.

My Rating…
2/5 Stars…

Honestly its okay when it actually deals with Sith topics and actually can get interesting. However weak character development and an unnecessarily long and drab story that doesn’t really even show the extent of Plagueiss’s power can’t cover that.

My advice: If you want a good Sith Tale, go with Bane. If you ABSOLUTELY INSIST on reading this one, get the audiobook. It’s well-read and makes it more manageable.

Anyway, let me know what you think. Is this book better or worse than I gave it credit?



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.  I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Rogue One: A Star Wars Review

Spoiler Alerts Ahead: 


So I finally got to see Rogue One today with my son…

What did I think…?

OH MY GOD IT WAS SO AWESOME!!! JYN’S MOTHER GETS KILLED AND JYN HIDES IN A HOLE UNTIL FORREST WHITAKER FINDS HER. THEN SHE’S IN PRISON, BUT GETS BROKEN OUT BY THE REBELLION. THEN THEY GO ON THIS HUNT WHICH THEY DON’T GET THE PROOF THEY NEED, BUT THEN THEY KNOW WHERE TO GET THE PROOF AND THEN THERES FIGHTERS AND STARSHIPS GOING BOOM BOOM AND WE SEE THE BIG WALKER TANKS GOING BLAM BLAM!!! EVERYONE ON THE GROUND IS RUNNING AROUND BLOWING SHIT UP AND YELLING AND IT WAS AWESOME!!!!

Ahem… okay, Nerd/man-gushing over. Let’s get serious.

So Jyn Erso is basically a criminal who was orphaned after her father is taken by the Empire to continue his scientific work… which isn’t described at this point. The man taking him is pretty much the main villain of the movie. Dressed like Admiral Thrawn, he holds the rank of director.

After Jyn’s father is taken by the Empire and her mother is killed, she is raised by a rebel fanatic known as Saw Gerrera… yes, THAT Saw Gerrera:
saw-gerrera

Jyn is abandoned at 16. She lives a life of crime until she is captured… and then freed by the Rebel Alliance. She is brought before the High Command, including Mon Mothma, whom we all know from Return of the Jedi:
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I give a lot of credit to whomever cast this role… they did a pretty damn good job!

Throughout the story, it is revealed that the project being worked on by Jyn’s father is none other than the Death Star. During this, we see a power struggle between the main villain and… Governor Tarkin as portrayed by Peter Cushing!?!?!? WTF????

Actually it’s not the legendary Peter Cushing at all as he passed away of prostate cancer in 1994. Through the magic of CGI his face was recreated… and honestly it was a pretty convincing likeness, unlike other really bad CGI effects… (Looking at you Twilight Baby!)

Long Story short, the father tells Jyn right before he dies that he intentionally built a fatal flaw into the Death Star, that would easily destroy it. A defected pilot, a former Jedi Temple Guard, and several members of the Rebel Alliance disobey orders from their dispersing command council and go attack an imperial records base to get the plans for the Death Star in order to exploit the weakness.

The group is getting gunned down until a… rather impressively large rebel fleet appears and attacks the Imperial Fleet in orbit. The Jyn successfully steals the plans and transmits them to the rebel fleet before killing the director. The Death Star appears on the scene under the command of Governor Tarkin and destroys the base, killing Jyn and the few members of Rogue 1 that are still alive.

In orbit, Darth Vader arrives on the scene in a Star Destroyer and takes out half of the rebel fleet. However the ship that intercepted the Death Star plans downloads them, and hands them off to an officer who makes his way to another ship that’s docked onboard and launches. The ship fleas for Tatooine and the plans are handed to a woman in a white dress who states that they have been given hope… and then we see her. Somehow Disney managed to reverse the aging process and get Carrie Fisher back to her teenage self… Just kidding, its CGI again, but again its impressively done!!!

So her ship takes off into hyperspace, Darth Vader gives chase… and the rest is history…

So… what did I think of this movie? I LOVED IT!!!! The action was great, but the movie did have a few problems…

What worked:
The action – The movie was non-stop action from start to finish. It literally kept you on the edge of your seat and engaged.

The scenery – From Yavin, to Jedha, to every other planet, everything is fleshed out and awesome.

The effects – As Star Wars fans, it’s almost expected that we all hate CGI, but to be honest, it worked pretty well here. The meshing of practical effects and CGI made it very difficult to tell which was which. The attention to detail in both Tarkin and Leia’s faces is very well done to the point where it is very difficult to tell that they are both CGI.
The story – This was a standard shoot-em-up action adventure which really gave a lot of background into the ‘First Victory’ of the Rebellion.

Homage – Throughout the movie, we get nods to other Star Wars mediums. Forrest Whitaker’s character is from the last Season of the Clone Wars Cartoon, and in the Yavin base, we here the name ‘General Syndulla’ over the intercom.

This is a standalone – The closest this could ever get to a sequel is A New Hope. Truly a rarity in Hollywood these days. We almost never see a single movie go without an open ending. No, this ties everything up neatly to make way for Episode 4.

What didn’t:
Character Development:
Besides Jyn… there really isn’t much. Each character get’s a few lines of dialogue to explain their back story and that’s it.

Scene Transitions:
I found the editing to be somewhat rushed and sloppy. You were never really given much time to be immersed in any one scene before you were immediately jump-cut to another.

The Title:
This is a complaint going back to when we first found out the plot, and its something I never understood… why was this called Rogue One? Rogue One was supposed to deal with the adventures of Wedge Antillies (Canon) of the Rogue Squadron (Also Canon, see Battle of Hoth).
Story-wise, this movie was much closer to the ‘Dark Forces’ video game and storyline and would have been more appropriately titled.

Red Leader and Gold Leader:

Yeah, during the final battle of the movie, stock footage for Red and Gold leader were taken from ‘A New Hope,’ it was updated and really remastered, and put into this movie with new voice-overs to make it look like the same actors were playing the leaders that would later die in the Battle of Yavin… it’s a quaint trick… but it did kind of take me out of the moment, especially since I immediately recognized the footage. It’s a minor quip, but one worth mentioning.

The Title Crawl:
Again, minor, but this is a Star Wars Movie. The format should really have been followed. Again, not a huge deal, but still a bit off-putting not seeing what we all know and love at the beginning.

The Rebel Fleet:
henleyx
This may seem like another minor quip… but to me it wasn’t… When they said that the Rebel Fleet was on its way, I pictured a few medium transports, 2 squadrons of fighters, one, maybe two Nebulon B Frigates, and an assortment of Corelian Corvettes.
What we got was a massive flagship, hammerhead corvettes that we saw in Star Wars Rebels, a pretty decent number of ships, and THREE squadrons (Blue, Gold, Red).
Okay, as awesome as this was, it really changed the dynamic of Galactic Civil War… in A New Hope, the rebellion is little more than a rag-tag band with only a few squadrons of ships and a small fleet that is constantly on the move… certainly nothing that could take on one, let alone TWO imperial class Star Destroyers. It really gave a more David vs. Goliath feel of desperation… This kind of killed that. Yes, I know that over time the Rebellion gets bigger and adds more ships, but its supposed to be relatively small at this point.

The trailers –

Like what you see? I know I did… too bad half of these scenes AREN’T IN THE MOVIE!!!
Remember the quote ‘This is a rebellion isn’t it? I rebel!’
Yeah, not in the film.
Nor was a scene that I was dying to have put in context. The part where we see a rather beat up and angry-looking Jyn limping to the end of a platform where a Tie Fighter appears out of nowhere:
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That is a TEASE!!!

What I’m on the Fence about:
THE ENTIRE MAIN CAST DIES!!! – I mean on one hand I get why they did this. It is certainly easier and less messy than retconning after the fact like Disney often likes to do. It’s also a pretty bold choice in that, yes the Rebellion won, but the victory is bittersweet. As is the ending of the movie. But still, unless you’re watching an Alamo docudrama or a horror movie, something like this isn’t always expected or welcome… it does kind of suck to see this happen to characters that we were all excited about getting to know and love.


Overall assessment: 3.5 / 5 Stars. 

Again, I loved the movie, but it seemed to place an emphasis on action over story. In most cases this is fine, but this is Star Wars we’re talking about. Even so, there was enough story there to satisfy and keep me interested. It’s a fun movie with a lot of really great scenes and plot devices driving it forward. I went in with VERY high expectations even for a Star Wars movie and to not walk away disappointed, is saying a lot! It’s not perfect, but then again almost no movies are!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

 

Lucifer: Best Show in a Long Time

So I seem to be unable to avoid things like social commentary, movies, and visual mediums in addition to writing. So with that in mind, I’m changing the format of my blog. Now, not only will I tackle writing, but pretty much anything geek-culture-related (Yay me!)

Oh no! Does this mean that you won’t be giving out writing advice?

Hell no! Getting emails from readers looking for help is one of the things that constantly draws me back here. I love getting them and I love to help, so no, writing advice will still be offered to those who need it. I’m just opening my blog up to other things so that it’s no longer me going off on a tangent. Trust me, I’ve got lots of questions to get through and I will get to all of them… EVEN IF IT KILLS ME!!!

Hopefully not…


Okay, on topic. Today I want to talk about a show that really caught my eye. I heard Lucifer was being turned into a TV show after being a comic. Initially I rolled my eyes. In context, this was coming out while Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, Jessica Jones, among other stinkers were at their height.

As time went on and I heard the premise of this show, I started to become more and more intrigued. Sure I’d recently become a fan of the Flash… even though it was slowly losing my interest by the end of Season 2, and DC Legends of Tomorrow… which I have to admit, has the most effort I’ve seen put into a show in a very long time. So my optimism was beginning to grow.

Then I see the first images… Oh God… this looks almost NOTHING like the comic…

Finally, the first episode came out and my wife and I watched. The Episode opened with a rather charming brit being pulled over by a police officer.

Lucifer-set-visit.jpg

This care-free individual talks his way out of a ticket by bribing the officer and getting the officer to reveal his own naughty behavior… by virtue of his own version of a penitence stare…

imag0014(Tell me honestly, which would you be more likely to reveal your deepest darkest secrets to?)

Following that, Lucifer watches a girl he struck a deal with get blown away and… out of sheer boredom, becomes a consultant for the LAPD where she meets a former actress turned officer, Chloe Decker. Chloe seems more annoyed by Lucifer than anything, but he eventually wins her over and the two become friends and she comes to rely on him to help her through cases.

amenadiel.png(Wait… isn’t that the girl from Texas Chainsaw Massacre!?)

Though no one seems to believe him or dismiss him as a ‘method actor’ Lucifer makes no secret of who he really is, which in and of itself is hilarious.

Other characters join Chloe and Lucifer throughout the series… lets take a look at them…

Amenadiel:
amenadiel.png

Another messenger of God and Lucifer’s brother. At first, he appears to be the moral compass of the show, trying to get Lucifer to return to Hell, but over time becomes more of a dose of reality to Lucifer as he deals with his own problems on Earth. He also causes a lot of the problems in Season 1, desperate to get Lucifer to return to Hell after having to do Lucifer’s job for a while.

I have to admit… he’s one of the more boring characters. When his scenes show up, I tend to kind of just wait for them to end. His story is a lot more gloomy and really tends to throw off the mood of the rest of the show.

Mazikeen:

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Appearance-wise, I have to say that she’s as close to the original source material as anyone has gotten. Personality… well that’s another story.
In the show, she’s a devious, promiscuous, sexy, painfully blunt, bad ass fighter who starts out as Lucifer’s protector. She was tasked with torturing evil souls in hell and follows Lucifer when he decides to leave, but becomes disillusioned with the job and starts doing her own thing. Though she seems stoic and uncaring, she has a soft spot for Chloe’s daughter who quickly becomes her only friend.

IMAG0014.jpg(I mean who wouldn’t want their child cuddling up with a demon!)

Still… Chloe refers to her as a very deranged person… and then they wind up living together… kay…

Aside from Lucifer, I’d say that she is the most interesting character in the entire show. She’s dark, but has a… barely detectable side of compassion. I was thrilled to find out that she would be connecting more with detective Decker as that’s where she’s the most interesting.

Dan Espinoza:
IMAG0014.jpg
(AKA Detective Douche)

Chloe’s ex and fellow officer. He seems protective of Chloe, but has his own dark side. He has his ups and downs in the series, but basically serves as Lucifer’s local cock-block. I could go into more detail, but to be honest, I don’t find him that interesting. He’s sort of a comic foil, but other than that he scenes seem to be getting fewer and fewer as time goes on. I don’t see him surviving the series.

Dr. Linda Martin:
IMAG0014.jpg

Lucifer’s therapist and more recently part of Chloe’s girl crew. Maze also seems to be warming up to her. Though extremely intelligent and able to keep up with… what she refers to as Lucifer’s metaphors, she seems somewhat ditsy.

She’s a tad annoying, but I like her enough to hope that she sticks around.

Ella Lopez:

Rachael Harris as Kim Martin.

A member of the LAPD’s forensics dept. She’s young and very peppy. What’s more she really seems to like Lucifer. I’m not sure if she’s charmed by him or simply amused by his antics, but she definitely seems to be getting more and more friendly. However, to Lucifer’s annoyance, she is convinced that he is a method actor and nothing he says or does looks like it will be changing her mind any time soon.

In more recent episodes, we see her character develop and get a lot more air time, which I am happy about because I very much like her character.


I have to say, I’d chalk this show up as a dramatic comedy more than anything. It is absolutely hilarious ride through everyday LA. As the audience, we are treated to what the devil would be doing if he were on vacation or ‘retired’ from his old job. As with his legend, he does make deals with people, but doesn’t require their souls for payment. He seems to be more of a benevolent character who simply got a bad reputation because of his job of having to punish the wicked. Most of the characters are very enjoyable and the episodes are very light-hearted. It deviates from the comic book rather blatantly, but that’s not a bad thing here. I highly recommend this series to anyone. Comic fan or otherwise!

My two favorite Episodes are:
Season 1, Episode 9, ‘A Priest Walks Into A Bar.’
Here, we see Lucifer befriend… of all things, a priest. He get’s to experience friendship and then having to lose said friend. This provides us a whole new look into Lucifer’s character and how dynamic and complex his psyche is.

Season 2, Episode 4. Lady Parts.
(No, not because of the name!) It’s honestly just a funny episode where Chloe and Mazikeen’s relationship is forged.

Overall rating: 4/5 Stars. I love this show!



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim

Let Me In (2010)

Bullied at school, neglected at home and incredibly lonely, 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) spends his days plotting revenge on his tormentors and spends his nights spying on other residents of the apartment complex. His sole friend is Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), a strange girl who comes out only at nighttime. Both outcasts, the two form a strong bond. When Abby’s caretaker disappears amid a series of gruesome murders, Owen begins to suspect that she is hiding a terrible secret.



Okay, I have to admit this… I’m a horror movie junkie with a slight guilty pleasure tragic drama. I usually flick on horror movies while I work as they make the day pass by a lot faster… don’t know why but they do.

So I went hunting for a movie that I’d seen recently, but couldn’t remember the name of. That’s when I ran into this gem of a movie. I’d never heard of it before, but unlike most of the fair you find under the ‘horror’ section of Netflix, it actually has a fairly high rating from both audiences and critics. Okay… well I’d never heard of it.

I managed to find a copy online and quickly downloaded it…

OH MAN!!! This movie was pretty good. In terms of mood, it was pretty dark and dreary, but even among the depressing atmosphere, the chemistry of the characters was a high point.  I really… REALLY don’t want to give too much away for those who have not seen it yet, but if you like suspense, horror thrillers, and you’re the type who likes stories about loves that can never be, this is the movie for you.

It starts off a bit slow, but it really does get better and better… The two leads do a really good job and you really feel what they’re going through. Despite the bad things that happen, you still really want them to be together and you’re still rooting for them despite the fact that you pretty much know it won’t happen.

Chloë Grace Moretz brings an eerie innocence to her character that contributes to the mind eff that follows when you see what she is and does. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

On a side note though, I know some people criticize that fact that the leads in this movie are only 12, but how is that any less realistic than the time-honor Studio Ghibli movie, Ponyo? The chemistry is age-appropriate in my opinion.

Anyway, definitely check this one out if your taste is similar to mine! It literally is the best of everything.



Readers,

Do you have a question about writing, publishing, my stories, etc? Please feel free to post a comment or email me.
jimthewritingwizard@gmail.com
I’ll use those comments to select my next blog post.

I have been writing for several years, have 4 published works, experience with publishing and independent work, so I can hopefully be of assistance.
Please note, I only do one of these a day and will do my best to respond to everyone, but it may take some time.

You can also add me on Twitter!

Also, feel free to check out my works of Fantasy and Historical Fiction, Available on Amazon and where ever books are sold. See the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/James-Harrington/e/B00P7FBXTU

Thanks friends!
Catch you on the flip side!

-Jim