A Cornucopia of Topics Including War In Flesh and Dancing With The Stars

Yesterday I was busy. And then horrible things happened in the Midwest. And then I was busy again. Today I have to catch up on War In Flesh.

I need to do some serious research on KERS systems because I had a vision for War In Flesh that I discarded as being unworkable but it won’t leave me alone. I think Kinetic Energy Return Systems may be the way to make it work. Steam powered rail guns have been around for a while so i can maintain the technology level I’ve set up for the world.

Oh! I just had an idea! Wheeeeee!

But I digress. I have to take a serious look at how I designed the Lorelei II and see if I can get a railgun on it. That’s going to be a ton and a half of fun.

Dancing With The Stars, I so hope Zendaya wins. And I’m so sorry I watched the last episode of Bones that Netflix has. No I’m not sorry I watched it, I’m sorry that’s the last one they have.

Oh! And my review of Star Trek Into Darkness is up on The Geek Girl Project.

I’m reworking the cover for the paperback issue of In The Flesh. What we had to do to the original art to make it comply with the print on demand site, createspace, was terrible. Createspace really goes out of their way to make self publishing difficult. I’m hoping to have it updated and available in a couple of days. The ebook is unaffected by this. K.

Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Name of The Doctor and War In Flesh

MV5BMTcyMDkwNzIwOF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDU4ODUzOQ@@._V1._CR0,0,1382,1382_SS100_Ok I post my updates here and over at M31 Publishing, usually a bit of an extended post over there. No sooner had I pushed the “publish” or in FB’s case “post” button yesterday than inspiration struck and struck hard.

I had so many ideas, and of course very little time because I was going to see Star Trek: Into Darkness, that I sat typing away for just under the hour I had to me. I reworked my outline to include ideas and roughed out three conversations I want my characters to have. I am so excited and pleased about what I got done for War In Flesh yesterday.

I’m also starting to think about cover art. This cover will be more steampunk I think than In The Flesh was but I’m wanting to commission the same artist that I got for In The Flesh. I love the work. I’m not going to do it until I’m really certain what I want for the cover and I have to write the description so that the picture comes out the way I envision it.

Minor Spoilers ahead

As for Star Trek: Into Darkness. I loved it. JJ Abrams did a masterful job with everything. Because this is an alternate timeline there are a lot of things that are familiar while still being new and unexpected. Honestly I half expected Khan (Benedict Cumberbatch) to be a dark hero this time around, especially with Admiral Marcus (Peter Weller) turning out to be a treasonous warmonger.

This cast is reprising the roles we know and love and they are doing such a good job of it that they are winning me over. I admit I was skeptical. I didn’t believe Star Trek: The Next Generation could re-capture the magic of Star Trek: The Original Series and while they didn’t exactly what they did was good and I liked it but what JJ Abrams has done with this alternate time-line reboot is not just capture the characters I love, but improved upon them.

I say improved because when the first Star Trek was created, they didn’t know what they had. They set up the dynamics in a traditional television show way with a lead actor, a supporting actor and a cast of other actors to fill out the crew. There was a hierarchy that they tried to keep to but we know now that what they actually created, and probably Roddenberry envisioned was an ensamble. Now, knowing that they have gone into it with that egalitarian view towards the characters.

The result is a stronger Star Trek that stays true to the original spirit and gives what might be considered the secondary characters, equal footing and screen time in many cases with the main characters. Uhura, Scotty, Sulu and Chekov are fan favorites who have their own important sub-plots and some excellent lines. Scotty just about steals the show and Uhura too. Of course the real contender for stealing the show is Khan but with a talent like Benedict Cumberbatch that is almost to be expected.

There were so many things I loved about this movie that I can’t possibly discuss them all here. I couldn’t even touch on them all in the review I did for The Geek Girl Project. There was a lot for old school Trekkers to enjoy and some inside jokes too, along with new twists on old Trek moments. There were things I expected and things I didn’t know what to expect. They had Dr. Carol Marcus but Dr McCoy made a serious play for her. Were they going to use the Genesis Device? They were out in a remote area with a small lifeless planet.

But I loved it and I believe most Trek fans will too, as well as people discovering Star Trek for the first time. Just try not to let your expectations ruin it for you.

I’m watching the final episode of Doctor Who for the season right now, The Name Of The Doctor and without giving anything away I got goosebumps watching the intro. Wow. What a gorgeous way to start the episode. Whoa, River Song. This is amazing. Watch it if you haven’t. I just turned off the television. Nothing can follow that.

J. J. Abrams Trek Brouhaha, Gardening and War In Flesh

Gunnera_manicata

Gunnera_manicataToday’s update is late and for that I apologize. It’s been a crazy morning for me. I got some writing done on War In Flesh and I’m looking forward to getting some more done. I know the plot complication that goes in this part and I think I can make it work.

Gardening has been on my mind. I have grand plans for the garden area, usually far grander than I, by myself, can carry out but this year I’m setting more realistic goals. I went to a local nursery and bought two (why two?) Gunnera Mantica plants. They’re cute in little 1 gallon pots and they were very reasonably priced. Then (why after I’d made my purchase?) I Googled them to see where best to plant them. Holy Moses!

Now I have to find spots for them and my vision of my garden spot has changed dramatically. Oh sure, I could take them back. The nursery I got them from has a very generous return policy but my imagination has been captured by these things and I want to find a spot for them.

Also, spellcheck does not recognize the verb “Googled.” Just FYI there.

Also the brouhaha about what JJ Abrams said about Star Trek is just silly if you ask me. I saw that interview and it was wonderful. He said some lovely things about Star Trek and Trek fans. Just because he hated the show as a kid is no reason to get your warp thrusters in a twist. He said he just wasn’t intelligent enough to get such a philosophical show when he was a kid. That’s no crime. He also went on to say that as he worked on the movie he came to know and love Star Trek. He even went back and watched the old shows.

It was a delightful interview and he told the same story I’ve heard from so many Trekkers, he just told it from the other side of the coin. There is nothing wrong with that and there is something heartwarming and endearing about his genuineness in telling the story. How he didn’t get this show, he wanted to, all his friends loved it. Isn’t the other side of that coin the Trekker story? About feeling out of place? Like people don’t “get you?” Then you discover this television show and the fans, other Star Trek fans and suddenly you’re amongst people who get you? Well JJ Abrams came at it from the other side. He came as one who didn’t get the show and by extrapolation the fandom. But now he does and that’s the important thing.

Oh and my review of King Kong vs. Godzilla is up over on The Geek Girl Project. This is the last real transition piece before they start getting just silly.

As always I hope you enjoy what I’ve written. K.

JJ Abrams Interview on The Daily Show

Iron Man 3 A Solid Movie

Iron Man 3 Movie Poster--Marvel

Iron Man 3 Movie Poster--Marvel

Iron Man 3 Movie Poster–Marvel

Let’s talk about Iron Man 3. First of all I love Ben Kingsley and I can imagine that he really had a ball with this role. Secondly I love Robert Downey Jr. No I didn’t start out a fan but the role of Tony Stark was made for him, or he for it. I don’t know but either way it works out fabulously. I don’t want to give away any spoilers this early in the release so let me just say that whatever you’re expecting, this movie is not that. I was surprised as the unexpected happened more than once. The best way to enjoy this movie is to take it as it is, without preconceptions and by enjoying the ride. I will say that no audience enjoys a bait and switch but this is handled well and makes up for it by the strength of the characters.

We saw it at the Cinetopia and let me tell you, it was lovely. The seats were extra comfy and there were ottomans for each seat so I could put my feet up and really get cozy. Also there was food and beer and friendly servers. We had a Lagunitas Little sumpin’ sumpin’. I first tried that delicious brew at the Zoo Brew a year ago and remembered how good it was. It’s a fairly obscure brew to have on tap and I was pleasantly surprised. Now I’m not saying that 3 pints of little sumpin’ sumpin’ makes the movie better but it sure didn’t hurt.

Lagunitas Little Sumpin' Sumpin'

Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’

I will have to say that if I were ever an evil genius, things would not go well for the Earth. I actually thought of something so diabolical, so horrible that if it had been me, instead of the Mandarin I would have taken over and no one would have even realized it. The entire population of the planet would have just gone about their business as usual all-unaware of their new evil overlord. Only Jarvis might have been able to alert Tony Stark.

There’s nothing to see here, citizen, carry on about your business.

Also, while I can see and appreciate the particular way they chose to bring about the villain’s downfall, I would have done that differently too. Then again what they did was so unexpected that I cannot fault them for the way they chose to do it. In fact it is because they did such a good job setting things up that there are alternative solutions to the problems they created.

Finally, I really enjoyed the growth that Tony Stark went through. It seems that every Iron Man movie is about Tony Stark growing as a character. It’s about his inner character being refined in a crucible of extraordinary and dangerous situations so that with each movie he becomes more a hero and less a narcissistic jackass.

There were some notable trailers before Iron Man 3. First up Star Trek: Into Darkness. Wow does it look fantastic. The more I see of it the more I want to see it in it’s entirety. Also After Earth looks fun but then I fall for sci-fi every time and I like Will Smith. Superman–does not look like anything I am going to rush right out and see. I can’t help but think, every time I see it, that with Global Warming proceeding the way it is that Fortress of Solitude had better be mobile.

Now I have to go from the fantastic and wholly enjoyable, if frequently unexpected Iron Man 3 to Ghidorah: The Three-Headed Monster for a review I’m doing for The Geek Girl Project. I’m going to require a few more pints for this. K.

The Croods, A Review

The Croods

The CroodsWe went to see the Croods today. I confess to not being all that whoopie about going to this movie. The trailers made it look like something I wouldn’t enjoy. Once again, Dreamworks has surprised me. I really enjoyed the movie. It was so well done. The characters are very well written and I actually got chills at some of the beautiful scenery they created. There is one scene, well one stage setting scene and then the follow up a little later on, that really I think represents how well done these characters are.

Grug’s whole life revolves around keeping his family fed and safe. That’s his life and he likes it that way. They get a giant egg for breakfast and Grug sees to it that his family eats first and as a result there’s only one little drop left for him. But he’s ok with that because his family is fed.

Later on, and I’m trying not to give too many spoilers away here so I’m leaving out a LOT of details, they have a huge roasted bird to eat and being cavemen and women, the Croods fall on it like the mongol hordes and devour it.

Guy, the interloper in their lives, watches them in a bit of horror and finally says to Ep, Grug’s daughter, “I guess there’ll be no leftovers then.”

Ep looks at him and says, “What are leftovers?”

Guy answers, “Leftovers are when you have so much food you have some left over.”

The camera pans to Grug and his face just falls. You can see the thought process, that this stranger has provided for his family better than he ever did (well you can assume it based upon the set up). I found this really touching and I think it really demonstrates how well rounded these characters are.

It’s not so obvious that it detracts from the enjoyment the kids have either. It’s just something that adds richness and depth to the story. All of this and I haven’t said a word about the world of wonder Dreamworks created in The Croods. The colors are so vibrant and the animals are wonderfully whimsical and imaginative. It’s a fantasy world filled with life and danger and a very human story.

With my tongue planted firmly in cheek I will have to add that apparently it’s now a rule that every animated movie has to have an Owl City song on the soundtrack. Which is ok because I love Owl City.

One of these days I’m going to learn to trust Dreamworks. The last movie I wasn’t too whoopie to see of theirs was Kung Fu Panda and I really didn’t like Jack Black so I really didn’t want to see that one but I did and it’s one of my favorites. Well not on the level of How To Train Your Dragon, but still right up there.

Last but not least, previews:

Star Trek: Into Darkness OMG I so want to see that. The little bit I saw indicates that they’ve got the Kirk/Spock banter going on and just right.

No Pacific Rim preview and for the record I would like to say that The Smurfs are more frightening than anything Pacific Rim is going to put up on a preview trailer. This is relevant because there was a Smurfs 2 preview and I’m embarrassed for Neil Patrick Harris that he is in it.

Epic is looking better the more I see of it.

And that is my review of The Croods and the three previews we saw before it. If you can The Croods is an enjoyable way to spend a couple of hours with the family. It probably won’t change your life but it’s a good story well told and beautifully animated. K.