Monday, June 25, 2012

Minnesota Vikings 2012 - A Prediction

This is a writing blog, but by now I am guessing all my loyal readers know that I can’t really keep on topic. Following the footsteps of a writer much better than myself (George RR Martin) I am going to share a little article about my favorite NFL team, the Minnesota Vikings (hey now, no teasing. I am a Vikings fan, haven’t I suffered enough?)

Anyway I was reading the Daily Norseman, a Vikings related news website. To be honest this time of year there isn’t all that much to talk about and what there is sounds like a group of elderly people gossiping at Wal-mart...

Did you hear that insert name here is unhappy? Oh, really I didn’t hear that, but Mr. So and So might retire. No he won't but I think he might be dateing What's Her Face. She's too good for him if you ask me, back in 42 we knew how to treat a lady like that. When I first took my wife out we..., etc.

And another off topic side note: what is it about the Wal-mart food court that is so attractive to the 75+ crowd? Weird.

Anyway this article caught my eye for some reason. At first it just seemed like one of those lame predictions of the season to come, but after a few sentences, it became veeerrrry interesting. It is a fun read for football fans but I think others might get a kick out of the inter-dimensional travel, the alligators with lasers in fire retardant suits, and the secrets of the Jared Allen blood ritual. Check it out.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Best/Worst Scene from John Carter

My last post, my John Carter Review was bothering me, it felt like I left something out, something I wanted to talk about. It was one particular scene, that started out as one of my favorites of the movie then fell flat. If you haven't seen the movie yet there are some spoilers below but it is just one scene, of course it is one of the cooler scenes.


Best Scene/ Worst Scene From John Carter (Spoiler):

Dejah Thoris (the strange martian princess) , Sola (the odd alien lady), Woola (the weird space dog)  and John Carter are running from a horde of aliens, that is growing closer and closer. Behind them, all they can see for miles is the blood thirsty mob of aliens numbering in the thousands (not sure why they brought their thousands to kill three people and a dog but then I have no idea what their cultural traditions are concerning hunting down small groups of people and a dog. I mean maybe they really hate dogs, like their culture was almost destroyed by a sniff in the wrong crotch or something.)

Anyway they are being chased by all these thousands of aliens. John Carter jumps off his weird giant lizard/horse thing and shouts for everybody to run and says "I was late once I won't be again", which kinda doesn't make much sense in the situation they are in. The princess and alien lady make a few half hearted attempts to convince him not to fight the horde, but then ride off. I have a feeling that if it went on much longer the princess would have knocked him off his horse. So it was kind of like when you’re being chased by zombies and you think to yourself, crap I am going to have to trip this guy next to me so I can get away, and then the guy spins around and says “I’ll hold them off” and you say “no, don’t” and sprint like hell.

John faces the horde

Well John pulls out his swords (he has two), and stands there with a determined look in his eye and the wind blowing through his hair, looking like half of a cover of a bad romance novel. I say half because there is no girl hanging on his leg. Then Woola, the alien space dog walks up next to John and growls at the horde. John tells the space dog to follow the girls, but for the first time space dog disobeys and won’t leave its master's side.

Loyal space dog, refuses to leave his master's side

Then John and Woola…well I guess the best term would be open a can of “whoop-ass” as they say on those fake wrestling shows. John looks like a guy in the coolest Ginsu Knife commercial ever. He chops the aliens, he dices, heck I am pretty sure he juliennes one poor alien guy. Weird blue blood sprays all over the place. Woola uses his super speed, (did I mention the space dog was faster than the Flash?) and giant mouth that fits most of a human torso to chew his way through a bunch of the aliens.

They use this fight scene to reveal some of John's backstory. As the fight goes on we get flashes of memory: him coming home from war to find his home in ashes, him finding his wife in the ruins, him burying his wife and child, him holding the two wedding bands he always wears. Each scoop of the shovel is mirrored by a slash of his sword. This is very well done, and enhances the scene. 

Soon John can no longer use his super jumping ability, the weight of the bodies piled against his legs is too much. I start to feel that little rush you get when you see something super heroic in a movie. The overwhelming numbers rush forward, piling on top of John.

The bodies are starting to pile up

At this point I am thinking two things either A: I will see an Incredible Hulk moment straight from the comics and John will shrug his shoulders and toss off two dozen aliens or B: The writers are giant dick holes and I am about to see the death of Woola so that John can live.


My senses are slammed by complete and utter deus ex machina. The princess’ father’s space ship shows up and begins an artillery barrage that reminded me of my own grandfather using a gallon of gasoline and a match to take care of the ant hill in his garden. And one of the best scenes of the movie becomes a bit cheesy and lame, as the hero does nothing and is saved by outside forces. At least they could have shown that her father was looking for her.
When they finally land, John Carter is underneath a pile of bodies unconscious. I am bit worried for quite awhile but then I see Woola, who doesn’t even have a scratch on him, thus adding more fuel to my theory that while John Carter is pretty cool, the writers chose the wrong view point character.

Friday, June 15, 2012

John Carter Movie Review

So yesterday was my birthday. Birthdays when you are 33 aren’t the same spectacle as when you’re twenty-0ne or twenty-two. There were no shots and no keg stands, and my clothes stayed on until about 10:00pm at which time I changed into my Star Wars “jammie pants”.

I did pick dinner. A New York Strip, baked potato and some veggies to keep the wife happy. Then we played “Last Night On Earth” a zombie board game that has been sitting in the closest just waiting to played. I really enjoyed the game, but then I got to control the zombies, and who doesn’t want to send a dozen slobbering zombies on a mission to kill the heroes.

And finally we watched John Carter. Now it dawns on me that I haven’t done a movie review in quite a while so here we go.

John Carter

As I said above, it was my birthday, so the movie choice was all mine. I almost went with the new Sherlock Holmes movie but I know I will be seeing that one at work pretty soon, and I thought Taylor Kitsch did a good job in Friday Night Lights. Plus it was my birthday, a time to revel in my inner geektatude, so sci-fi was the obvious choice. I would like to mention that I have never read the original material so I really have no opinion on how close this is to the original.


Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior ~ IMDB

IMBD doesn’t mention the fact that the civil war vet gains super powers while on Mars (the one thing I wished they explained better). At least I would call them super powers, he is super strong, agile and can jump over tall buildings in a single bound. Hmmm… that reminds me of something but what?

Anyway traveling to a strange land, and somehow becoming super powerful is a mainstay of classic sci-fi/fantasy, so the plot was a little hokey, but it was old school sci-fi hokey and I was totally entertained by the movie. I did know how the movie ended waaaay before the end. Grade: B+


I thought the directing of this movie was good. It can’t be easy filming all the live action stuff so that the computer stuff works with it. There were a few times when the effects looked a little fake but all in all good job filming and some really nice special effects. Also Woola, the weird super fast alien dog was one of my favorite characters. Though I do have to say Mars looks a lot like the planet Jabba-the-Hut was from. Grade: B+


Taylor Kitsch was a very believable displaced civil war vet. I thought he did a descent job all around. Mark strong was a good villain, and Lynn Collins also put in a solid performance. I can’t say that anybody had a stand out performance, but every did their job. Grade: B+

Overall Grade: B+

Summary: John Carter was one of my favorite movies I have seen this year, and is my favorite action movie of the year. I really enjoyed the whole thing, however I do think they could have cut about twenty minutes and made it a much stronger movie, but otherwise I would definitely recommend seeing this one. Below is a picture of Woola, the crazy alien dog thing, and my favorite character in the movie. Below the pic I am going to briefly talk about my favorite scene from the movie, this will contain spoilers. If this bothers you STOP reading now.

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Book Recommendation, Some Writing Tips, and Mother-in-Laws

Sorry about the last post, I thought about deleting it but then left there as a reminder not to write a blog post during a lupus flare up, no matter how mild, nothing like a sudden onset of severe arthritis pain to make you feel old. But I am back to my generally happy, pain-free self. My mother in law has been visiting so there is very little getting done on the writing front. She came out for my wife's baby shower. I get along pretty well with my in laws but I will be glad to have the house back to normal, company, no matter how pleasant, can be exhausting.

I did get most of Brandon Sanderson’s Alloy of Law read this week, and I have to tell you it is really great. It is set in his Mistborn series but hundreds of years after the last book. Unlike other fantasy series the passage of time has meant an advance in technology. They use guns and the book reads pretty much like a western, but a really cool one.

Also, if you are into writing fantasy here is a this week’s Writing Excuses Podcast. Brandon Sanderson talks about his new epic fantasy, The Way of Kings. He goes in depth into some of the edits he made to the manuscript, and why he chose to have the POV characters he did. It is a really great glimpse into the writing process of a NY times bestselling author.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Feeling Old

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. It has been 11 years since I spent his birthday with him. He passed in 2001. The new girl at work is almost done with her college degree. She graduated high school 3 years after my ten year reunion. I am turning 33 next month, in July I will have been married for 10 years. For the very first time in my life, I feel old.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Cemetery Moon #8

The Summer Reading Program kicked off today, fun was had by all at the "pajama picnic party". The real busy time starts Monday so while I still had time I wanted to mention that I had a story in the latest issue of Cemetery Moon. My story The Hell Spinner, about a demonic carnival ride graces its pages.

Buy it HERE

Note: I finished my writing goal early tonight. So I decided to work on the blog a little. Changed the look, etc. That light colored writing on black was starting to hurt my eyes.