15th January 2017

A pretty decent day today, 1317 words on Penal Earth and I passed the 10k word mark on it. I have a chilled day, having spent most of it out with my folks. When I got home I watched the Jeff Dunham specials on Netflix and then did some writing. I haven’t done any editing at all.

I did finish Day of Chaos:Endgame (Judge Dredd) today. Damn that is one epic comic! I’m really excited by the fact that I’ve got other Dredd universe collections siting on my ‘To-Read’ shelf.

Next up reading wise is going to be Silent Dawn by the awesome C L Raven.

Looking Back At My Week

Firstly I’m just going to say that I know I haven’t blogged much this last week but I’ve been struck down with a cold,again! And something has sprung up this week which has thrown me off my pace a little. Hopefully though ill be able to get back into my stride this coming week.

My writing has been non-existent this week. I’ve been at work all week so with this God damned cold I’ve been getting home and all but passing out. Work has been very busy so I’ve been saving my energy for that.

I have done a lot of reading though. I finished Haywire by Justin R. Macumber (http://www.justinmacumber.com/) I really enjoyed this one, it got a 4-Star review from me. There are some really good characters, the story is interesting and fresh. I’ve not seen much like this before. I found it slowed just a little in the middle a bit but not enough to pull out of the story.
I would love to see more from this universe because I found it really fascinating.

I was going to read the second Hunger Games book but I might dive into the first collection of the Judge Dredd Comics that Tracie brought me ūüėÄ

Movie wise I watched The Smurfs movie, which was a lot better then I thought it was going to be. In fact I laughed a hell of a lot watching it. The Exorcism Of Emily Rose was a totally different kettle of fish but what a movie! And last night me and Tracie went and saw Scary Movie 5, it was okay but nothing special. There were laugh out loud moments but nothing that was memorable, it was a very throw away movie.

I got hold of the Mass Effect Trilogy for Xbox 360 last week, I started playing it and got a little bit of the way through but then got that cold back but hopefully I’ll find a little time to dive into it again this week. It seems like it has a really deep and engaging universe to play in.

Movie Monday: Grown Ups

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Grown Ups tells the story of a number of early middle-aged men who meet up at the funeral of their former basketball coach and spend the weekend hanging out with their wives and kids. Obviously each has a story arc which they follow and there’s a happy, feel good ending to the movie. What makes this a movie that I enjoy watching is the fact that these five friends (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade and Rob Schneider) absolutely rip each other to bits throughout the entire movie. It is a five way buddy movie where they constantly take the p**s out of each other, which is what guys do. Having worked in the car trade as long as I have I know all about this and its real. That is why I enjoy this movie so much because it does have that feel good vibe to it and it has got that banter that blokes tend to have.

This would not work though if the rest of the cast were not strong. We see Salma Hayek and Maria Bello tackling roles which we do not normally see them in and both do a fine job of it. I love seeing actors take on a role which is outside of their safety zone. In addition to Hayek and Bello we see Maya Rudolph and Joyce Van Patton who both add their own strengths to the movie and there is a very good support cast which includes Steve Buscemi, Colin Quinn, Ebony Jo-Ann and a number of other actors that play their parts well and it all adds to the whole. No one seems out-of-place in the movie which is nice to see.

The only thing that worries me about this film is the fact that the sequel is out this year. I worry that it will be too much of the actors patting themselves on the back and telling each other how great they are. I really hope that this is not the case, but we’ll have to wait and see.

 

***Here’s some of my earlier thoughts on this movie https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/grown-ups/#comments¬†***

Tonights Update

I’ve just a quick little update tonight.

I’d like to give a shout out to Patrick E. McLean¬†who wrote the book How To Succeed In Evil¬†which is a really entertaining book. The characters are brilliant, out there in the odd case but in a good way. This is hugely entertaining and I found myself laughing out loud more than once (I got some funny looks at work).

http://www.patrickemclean.com/

 

Theres the link to Mr. McLean’s site, you can also find his work at Podiobooks.com and iTunes.

 

There’s a sad note here I’m afraid. It was announced today that the actor Richard Briers has passed away. He was 79. Mr. Briers starred in a number of great shows over the years. I’ll remember him mainly for his role as Tom Good in The Good Life and as Hector Naismith MacDonald in Monarch Of The Glen. The most recent thing that I saw him in was Cockneys vs. Zombies. He seemed like a proper gentleman and¬†I will always remember the shows that I saw him and what a talent he was.

R.I.P Mr Richard Briers.

Movie Monday: Con Air

Con Air tells the story of a group of prisoners who high jack a prisoner transport plane called The Jailbird. This plane is used to transport prisoners between various prisons. On the day of the high jack Americas most notorious make prisoners are being transported to a new supermax prison, but a prisoner has arrange, with the help of his fellow convicts, to take the plane and make their break for freedom. Led by Cyrus the virus.
The one thing they did not take into consideration was a prisoner by the name of Cameron Poe. He is one of a number of prisoners who was not in on the high jack and is in fact only on board for a ride back home to Alabama where he will be released. Poe was incarcerated after killing a man in a brawl. He was protecting his pregnant wife and receives a harsher sentence due to his U.S. Ranger training. He remains on board as a friend cannot leave and there is a female prison guard aboard the plane whom a serial rapist has already tried to violate. Poe does all he can to de-rail the escape attempt.

I remember when I first saw this film and thought, yeah this is my kind of movie. It has a hero, and a bucketload of villains. There are some amazing performances in this film by actors who I first discovered in this movie. Nicolas Cage plays it straight up as the hero. John Malkovich is a force of nature as Cyrus The Virus. Ving Rhames is solid as Diamond Dog, Steve Buscemi is just plane creepy as Garland Greene (even the other cons are weary of him, except Cyrus). There is also a smart performance form John Cusack as the U.S. Marsahll who’s leading the search for the escaping cons. There is also solid support from actors like Danny Trejo, Colm Meaney, Nick Chinlund and M.C. Gainey.

This movie is a hell of a lot of fun to watch with some amazing performances and a little humour along with the action.

It’s well worth a watch if you want a fun movie with some action ūüôā

Movie Monday: High Fidelity

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High Fidelity tells teh story of a record store owner, Rob Gordon(John Cusack), who after a breakup is trying to figure out why he keeps ending up single.  So he tracks down the five most important ex-gilrfriends he had.  The results differ.  As he is doing this he contends with his record store, the customers and his two employees, Barry(Jack Black) and Dick (Todd Louiso).

The film moves along at quite a nice pace and the humour is very well spread through the film.¬† John Cusack is really good here and even when he’s talking to the audience it works very well. Sometimes when this is done in movies it really is not good, but here it fits the movie very well.¬† Iben Hjejle is good as Rob’s Ex-Girlfriend Laura and Black and Louiso are a brilliant paring and bounce off each other incredibly well.¬† Theres also a small role for Tim Robbins and a small cameo for Bruse Springsteen.¬†Music plays a avery big part of this movie.¬† Conversastion in the film tend to feature a lot about music and the effect it has on the main characters.

This film is based on the book by Nick Hornby of the same name, which I have put off reading for years because I do really love this movie.¬† It’s easy to watch and there is a feel good factor to it too. And in my experience movies rarely ever match up to the book that they are based on.¬† I think the best way to describe it is a Rom-Com for men.

 

Movie Monday: My Top 5 Movies Of 2012

I have seen some very good movies this year, and some very bad ones too, but lets not focus on those but let’s look at what was good.¬† Some of these movies may not have been released this year, but if I say the movie for the first time this year then it is eligible.

I’m going to start at the top;

  1. The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble¬†here in the U.K.):¬† This is by a long stretch¬†my favourite¬†movie of the year.¬† It had everything, action, drama, plot, great characters, humour, breath-taking¬†CGI.¬† Joss Whedon put an amazing movie together here and I’d go as far to say this is close to being my favourite movie of all time.
  2. The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan’s epic conclusion to this Batman Trilogy was not perfect, but it was close.¬† It felt rushed in places and some of it felt a little strained but that is easily forgotten as the drama and the enormity of the plot gains pace.
  3. Dredd: I have a dirty confession here, I actually quite like the Stallone version but I can see the cheese factor¬†of the movie.¬† This version felt a lot more raw and I¬†loved the fact that it was a simple storyline and not Dredd¬†trying to save the world.¬†I’ve never read the comics that the film is based on, but I doubt that each episode has Dredd saving the world or something as grand.¬† It was just two cops trying to solve a crime, and stop a wider crime wave.
  4. The Hunger Games: I have just started reading the book, but I saw the movie when it first came out and it did really impress me. The changes that¬†I¬†have noticed¬†have not bothered me and I’m looking forward to the next movie, although I am¬†disappointed¬†that Director Gary Ross will not be returning¬†to¬†direct the second film.¬†Dredd only just pipped it to¬†the 3rd place.
  5. Rise OF The Guardians: This is a late comer to the list as it only came out a few weeks ago and gets in by the spirit the movie had. It’s a really great family film which I think deserves its place here.

I’ve got a couple of honorary mentions here.¬† The first is The Rocky Horror Picture show, Dead Silence, Sinister, Ted¬†and¬†The Women In Black.¬† All good movies which I wanted to mention as they left a lasting impression on me.

The Christmas Period 2012

I hope that you have all had an amazing Christmas? I know that I have had my best Christmas since childhood, by a long way if I’m honest.¬†¬† It was pretty relaxed and there¬†was a lot of fun had¬†ūüôā I managed to knock out about sixty pages of The Hunger Games Christmas Day.¬†It was nice to be able to just sit down and read¬†without thinking about having one of a dozen other things to do. I did get Stephen King’s The Dark Tower books for Christmas as well so I want¬†to¬†get started on them¬†as soon as I can.

I’ve watched a few good movies (Ted,¬†The Avengers (Avengers Assemble here in the UK) The Dark Knight Rises and The Rocky Horror Picture Show), had a Nerf gun fight, ate some really good food.¬† Spent time with my nearest and dearest¬†and all in all it was a really good couple of days ūüôā

There’s little time to rest though as I’ve been back at work today and for just a few days things will be back to normal, till New Years Eve at least.¬†This is always an odd time of the year. Unless you’re lucky enough to have the entire Christmas and New Year period off then the days feel¬†odd.¬† Like today for example it has felt like monday all day.¬† Weird.¬† I do love this time of year but I hate how it knocks me off my mental calendar.

Before New Year I’ve got a few days of work and I’m hoping to get down to Owen’s because he has a few notes for Project Apollo which in turn are a few notes for The Space Watch (Project Apollo). I’ll let you all know how that goes.

Movie Monday: Rise Of The Guardians

Rise Of The Guardians is primary the sorry of Jack Frost being chosen to join the Guardians Of Childhood by the Man In The Moon along with Father Christmas. Not your normal St.Nick but a tough Father Christmas. Not tough in the sense of a nasty piece of work but you in the sense of wielding swords to defend his fellow Guardians and more importantly children. Another Guardian is the Easter Bunny. Again he is a tough six foot tall Easter Bunny who is as strong as Father Christmas and as dedicated to protecting children. The Sandman and the Tooth Fairy are the final members of the chosen Guardians and both would defend children as passionately as Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

The Easter Bunny is not too impressed with Jack Frost being chosen as a Guardian and Jack Frost is not too happy with it either as he has been an outsider since he became the spirit of winter and as no children believe in him like they do the others he can’t been seen so he has lived a lonely life. Eventually he is persuaded to co-operate for the moment and the Guardians go out to stop the Bogeyman (Pitch) from destroying children’s belief in them.

This film is based on the books written by William Joyce, The Rise Of The Guardians, books.

I enjoyed this a lot more then I was expecting, and I was really looking forward to watching this one. It has the spirit that it needed to have to make this work. It is funny and energetic and very easy to follow the story. It was a little predictable in how the story played out but that did not bother me too much because the film as a whole worked very well. The animation was beautiful, it sounded amazing. Th main characters were voiced by Chris Pine as Jack Frost, Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny, Isla Fisher as the Tooth Fairy, Alec Baldwin is wicked as Father Christmas and Jude Law does a good turn as Pitch the Bogeyman.

I (not quite) dragged Tracie to see this and she was a little unsure about it. She just did not see the appeal of it but she loved it and is planning to buy them in the new year.

This is a fun film with lots of spirit and heart.

This is definitely being brought when it comes out on DVD.

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Today’s Update

I’ve been away at Tracie’s sisters this weekend for her birthday but I took a pen and paper pad, just in case I had a quiet five minutes and I found some early notes and snippets of Project Apollo.¬† These are bits that I was playing around with a few months ago to see how plot lines works, and how characters felt.¬† I found a couple of bits and pieces which will fit in quite well into how Project Apollo is looking now.¬† As I have said before we’ve taken a totally new approach to this story.¬† It is no longer a comedy but a serious story, so a lot had to change so much of what I wrote was not of any use but some is and there are a few other things that I want to transfer from when Project Apollo was a comedy, but we’ll have to see.

I really need to work on my sub-plots as well.¬† I’m burning my way through this story far too quickly and I think that is because I am not putting in any of the secondary storylines so I’m going to go back and work on adding in some of these sub-plots and character stories that should create some depth to the characters.¬† I know them, and Owen has also reminded me of a story thread (which is very important) that¬†I have missed out.

Tomorrow I’ll be back into getting the story rolling again ūüôā