Archive for February, 2016

Movie Mayhem – Eddie the Eagle

It’s very rare for a film about sports to not ooze with inspiration. After all, sports are all about winning… wait, no, that’s wrong. It’s not about winning, it’s how you play the game. And because sports movies are almost always about the underdog (someone who comes from a less-than-stellar background who will do anything to make his or her dreams come true) persevering among better, more capable athletes, it’s easy to root for that young kid, or the less-than-athletic competitor bleeding tenacity to prove they belong with the best. It’s about never giving up, no matter how hard the climb, or how much adversity must be faced. No more is this idea manifested than in 1993’s Rudy, which did a brilliant job pulling the viewer in with a relatable character who didn’t let anything or anyone keep him from achieving that dream. Eddie the Eagle tries to capture that same magic with its true story of an underdog ski jumper, but no matter how likable the characters are, or how inspirational the film may aspire to be, the filmmakers fell a little short when it comes to the one element of a film that can’t be measured in words. Read Full Review

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Chaos Movie Awards 2016

It’s that time of year again — Oscar time! So here now are my predictions for who and should win the major categories, along with a few of my usual secondary (and sometimes unorthodox) awards that won’t ever be part of the telecast. I only got 5 out of the 7 right last year, so I’m hoping to go 7 for 7 this year. But we’ll see tomorrow night when the stars come out and collect their trophies for the 88th time.  Read on for my predictions

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Movie Mayhem – Deadpool

I’m not sure where I fit on the spectrum of Deadpool knowledge, but it’s probably somewhere between “Who?” and “That’s the guy that fights Wolverine at the end of X-Men Origins: Wolverine.” As you can probably guess, I’m not a comic book reader, so it was kind of fun to listen to all of the fan boys rip apart the portrayal of Deadpool to shreds with their adamantium claws. From what I could tell at the time, the character had become entirely unrecognizable from the comics because he been so watered down due to the PG-13 rating and his backstory had been completely changed. To do the character justice, it required the producers to allow for no less than an ‘R’ rating, and they needed writers who could amp up the sarcasm and pop-culture references to 11. Well, it took them over six years to make it happen, but 20th Century Fox and Marvel heard the fans loud and clear, producing a Deadpool film that was as filthy, foul-mouthed, violent, and referential as everyone was hoping him to be. Read Full Review

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Movie Mayhem – Hail, Caesar!

Joel and Ethan Coen are an odd breed to be sure, and if you don’t like or understand their comedic style, you probably never will. It’s a very subtle, very twisted sense of humor, and I have to admit, I’m one of those people who just doesn’t get it. That’s not to say I don’t think the Coen brothers aren’t good filmmakers. Not only do they stay true to who they are in everything they do, but their work in the heavier drama arena, with films like No Country For Old Men or True Grit, showcase their extraordinary talents. But films like those follow a much different set of standards than their comedies do, one that’s so entirely different and off-the-wall that it’s really hard to explain. Hail, Caesar!, the Coen brothers’s new all-out portrait of insanity, tries to mimic the sensibility of their more psychedelic turns, like The Big Lebowski or Raising Arizona, and because of that seems to get a little too lost in its own self-indulgence. Read Full Review

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Editing Nightmares: How To Stay Error Free Without An Editor

The first draft of almost any type of writing, whether it’s a poem, an essay or a novel, is going to be awful. That’s just a given. In my experience, it takes at the very minimum three drafts to find a voice, to craft just the right sentences and make sure the story flows without leaving plot holes it its wake. One major issue with writing draft after draft after draft is the inevitable blindness we all face. Mistakes, whether in plot, character, grammar or spelling, are inevitable while completing each new draft, which is why it’s highly recommended (and why even the most successful authors) have an editor by their side to review and correct their masterpieces. They’re able to look upon your work with fresh eyes and catch things you’ve become blind to because of your familiarity to the work and what your brain thinks it actually says. But in a self-publishing world, there are a lot of us who can’t afford an editor… or at least a good one, which means we have to rely on ourselves to find the problem areas before the reader does. How do you do that? Well, aside from reading your manuscript upside down (to slow your brain down), reading it aloud and being extremely hard on yourself with every line and word you read, there are a couple of things you can do to help keep your manuscript consistent and free of minor and obvious errors. Read on for Tips & Tricks

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Movie Mayhem – The Finest Hours

The bravery men and women exhibit in their finest moments has always been a benchmark in the creation of stories and movies. There’s a lot of inspiration and emotion that comes along with showcasing someone’s defining moment of courage, as they rise above impossible challenges to do what’s right when no one else is willing to accept what faces them. Within the meat of these narratives, several factors must be adhered to in order to keep the events and those who went through the harrowing acts from derailing into sappy melodrama. One of those factors is knowing who the main character is, and why their story — their journey — is important and inspirational. How did they find the courage to rise up and take the reigns despite friction from others who may have differing ideas? And more importantly, why should we care? If the subject isn’t well-drawn, or doesn’t seem real enough, then the story itself, and the grit of the events will falter. That’s what happens in The Finest Hours, a film that splits our attention among two separate paths of heroism, but can’t decide which is more important. Read Full Review

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