Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hollywood Screw Ups

When Hollywood adapts a novel to a film, the average is to bet on the adaptation SUCKING. Lord of the Rings is an outlier, and Harry Potter was mostly faithful because they didn't want to get torn apart by a legion of angry ten year olds.

But mostly, you're better off just running. The Relic, Shooter (the film), The Bourne Identity (the films were so two dimensional) and the list goes on.

Now what fresh hell has been unleashed on us?

I give you.... Disney.
There's Cars 3 .... because everyone loved one and two so much (hint: It's the only Pixar film I can't find anyone to say a nice word about)

Because they're bringing back the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

Really? The abomination of the second and third films weren't enough for you? And no, you couldn't drag me to see any of the films after that. You would literally have to pay me to review that drek. I mean literally. If I can get an offer, I'll start a kickstarter. I'll do a review.  And, apparently, Orlando Bloom's career sucks so badly right now, he's been dragged back into this film. Either that, or the franchise has been going downhill so badly that they had to back up the dump truck filled with money to pay his salary.

Next, they're doing a live action Mulan....

Yes. Because every review of Beauty and the Beast I've seen from people I trust has been less than positive -- or, at best, showed me that, yes, this was a totally unnecessary remake. They even made it with A LEAD ACTRESS WHO CAN'T SING. So now we're going to have yet another unnecessary remake.


And then we're going to have a sequel .... to Mary Poppins. Yes, you heard, Mary, flipping, Poppins. The genius title? Mary Poppins Returns.  Really? It took fifty years to think up this title?

And who do you get to replace Julie Andrews?
The film stars Emily Blunt as Mary Poppins,

Yeah. This is Emily Blunt

I suspect that her choice was based on the type of drugs the casting guy was on.

And the plot? Oh, you're going to love this one. Remember Mary Poppins right? A distant father hires a nanny to deal with his troublesome kids. Hilarity ensues.

This one?
Set 25 years after the original film, and taking inspiration from later books in the Mary Poppins series, the film will see Mary Poppins revisiting the Banks family after they suffer a family tragedy.
The film opens Christmas Day 2018.
Family tragedy! A surefire Christmas film.

"Oh, but it's based off of later books!"

If you'll turn your attention to this corner, you will see a brief synopsis of each book in the series. You will note that there is nothing that even remotely resembles a tragedy.

So, shut up, Disney.

Finally, worst of all, they are making (read: they will screw up) A Wrinkle in Time. 

A Wrinkle ... in Time.



Why do I say that? Because the author, Madeleine L'Engle basically wrote a YA novel that is essentially Christian...

Remember the last time they did one of those? Oh yeah, Narnia.

This is going to suck.

Seriously. Go to Hell, Disney. Straight to Hell.

Here, have some books that are more cinematic than most Hollywood films lately.

And they're cheaper than a movie ticket.

The Love at First Bite series. 


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Love at First Bite, part 4, is Coming

Book 4 of my Love at First Bite series is coming. It might be titled Good to the Last Drop, but I have a few other suggestions going the rounds. 

Here's the only problem I have.

I need a title.

I've already started a survey in my group on Facebook, as well as on my Facebook page, asking for suggestions. And I've gotten a lot of feedback.

I'm actually surprised, especially with some of the ones suggested for me.

Good to the Last Drop is currently winning, and I didn't even suggest this one. It's pulled ahead, and I can't believe it didn't occur to me. My family has been making this joke AT blood banks for years.

Greenwich Village of the Damned -- one of mine, and suggested by a chapter title.

Final Blood -- Book 4 will be the end to the main arc of the series. So "final" in the title has a good ring to it. Also, it's a take on First Blood -- you know, the novel that started John Rambo on his career.

Shadow of Murphy -- I originally suggested this because there are elements of Murphy's Law of Vampires that resonate in this novel. I won't say what, because that might spoil the surprise.

Certain Parts of Brooklyn -- This is actually taken from an exchange in the film Casablanca.

Major Strasser to Rick: Are you one of those people who cannot imagine the Germans in their beloved Paris? ....How about New York?
Rick to Strasser: "Well there are certain sections of New York, Major, that I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."
Bloody Love -- a original title, suggested by on of my acquaintances.

Murphy's Shadow -- another suggestion, and probably better than "Shadow of Murphy," if only so the cover artist can have most of the cover dedicated to the image.

Army of Light -- I've always liked the imagery of the term, used in Babylon 5. No one else does, apparently.

Shadows of Day -- This works for reasons.

At the end of the day, I suspect most of the titles will be used. Why? Because I'll stop needing titles after I run out of novels.

If you've missed any of my novels, click some below.

And if you haven't, ask yourself, have you reviewed them?

The Love at First Bite series. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

15 Movies Where the Guy DOESN'T Get the Girl

My family makes lists. We've done it for a very long time. After watching one of the following movies, we started assembling THIS list.

Easily 95% of Hollywood stories end with boy get girl, and vice versa. Personally, I'm a fan of this ending. I'm a romantic, somewhere under all this cynicism. So shoot me.

But how often have you seen a film where the man and woman meet, fall in love, and DON'T go home in the end?

There be spoilers ahead, so you've been warned.

These are listed in no particular order, by the way. I will not discuss Romeo and Juliet / West Side Story, because 1) it's the same bloody story, and 2) it's been talked to death.

Shall we begin?


If you don't know this one by now ... where the Hell have you been? It's a classic.

Chronologically, the events are -- Boy meets girl, girl leaves boy because she discovers that she's NOT a widow, girl wanders into boy's gin joint with not-dead husband. Husband happens to be hunted by Nazis because he is THE propaganda arm of the resistance, a true leader. Boy let's girl and husband go off into the sunset, despite that he still loves her, but it's for the greater good, because the husband is needed in World War II, and he needs her. Boy walks off into the fog with his best friend.

It was a great execution, and a classic film. And if you haven't seen it ... what the bleep are you waiting for?

Gone with the Wind
Another classic film, this one is more convoluted. Girl is a whiny little brat who becomes a manipulative woman. In order to keep the family farm within the family, she goes through several men, landing, finally, on a Han Solo prototype. After putting up with years of abuse from this woman, their daughter is killed in a horse riding accident. He has no reason to stay and put up with his wife's crap anymore, and leaves her -- at pretty much the moment where she realizes that she actually loves the guy she married for his money.

Yeah, this was one screwed up dynamic from minute one. Every time I turn into this film, I tune in for Rhett Butler's scenes, and the burning of Atlanta.

When they made a sequel, several decades later, the two finally ended up together, only after she leaves the family farm behind her, deciding that her home was with the family she had created.

But the original was truly an exemplary portrayal of Dorothy Parker's line: For every bitch there is a son of a bitch.

The Bodyguard

Do I even need to bring this one up? Won a few academy awards. Girl hires boy as bodyguard -- boy is a stiff, OCD security specialist. Boy and girl take a while to warm up to each other. SPend one night together. Boy is screwed up in that he didn't maintain perfect control. Yelling ensues. Boy saves girl. Boy moves onto his next job, letting girl fly off into the sunset.

This film was carried by style as much as anything else. A great many elements of this film still hold up, strangely enough. It's odd, but it mostly works.

Dr. Kildare

An entire series of films revolved around this character, but at the end of the day, in the penultimate film, the title doctor loses his wife to -- I believe -- a traffic accident. It was out of nowhere, and surprisingly heart wrenching for a series that is largely light and breezy.

If you trip over it on TCM, I do recommend the series, if only for Lionel Barrymore.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Louis Armstrong's piece, "We have all the time in the world has ominous overtones in our household because of this film. It is cruel irony for this film. A new James Bond had just taken over, and married the best Bond girl ever -- Diana "Emma Peel" Rigg.

Bond gets married. Leaves the Secret Service. Drives off on his honeymoon ....

And his wife is murdered in a drive by shooting by Enst Stavro Blofeld.

.... It is possibly the only Bond film that has a real emotional ending.

The Great Gatsby

Talk about a train wreck.

Boy meets girl. Boy is from the wrong side of the tracks. Boy grows up, gets his fortune, and dedicates his entire life to getting enough cash to make the Silver Spoon girl happy. Girl is married. Boy tries to woo girl away from husband. Girl drives boy's car, and runs over a local woman. Girl's husband talks the dead woman's husband into killing boy. Boy dies. Girl wanders off with husband as though nothing happened.

This feels like the prototype of every screwed up love story ever. Why is this guy chasing this girl? He could have any woman he wants, and he focuses all of his attention on married woman who is ultimately a vapid shell of a human being. I don't understand any "romance" where a guy is treated like a doormat by the object of his affections, and he takes it until she comes around -- only in this case, she doesn't come around.


The Manchurian Candidate (Original)

Boy meets girl. Boy and girl are broken up by schmuck parents. Boy goes off to Vietnam. Boy is brainwashed to be an assassin when the right commands are sent. Boy is sent to murder girl's father, girl gets in the way and is killed. Boy is deprogrammed, kills his handlers, and then himself, without ever knowing that he had killed the girl he loved.

... Just ouch.

And this was  Frank Sinatra film, sans Rat Pack. Oy.

Comic Book Films

Yes, they get their own category. Why? Because you generally don't expect comic books to have Romeo and Juliet syndrome, where everything goes bad. Unless the girlfriend is murdered because the writer has no idea what to do with her.

Captain America

Boy meets girl. Boy is frozen under the ice for decades --JUST AFTER finally making a date with her.

This doesn't help when you get to part two. Girl is still alive when he comes back.  Girl has Alzheimer's... damn that was heartbreaking.

Wolverine: Origin

Stop right there, and keep reading. I see you reaching for the comments section to complain. Yes. this is a film where the boy and girl don't end up together, even if you hated the film. And it's also sort of hard when you realize that not only does she die trying to protect him, he doesn't even remember her doing it.

The Dark Knight

Talk about your train wrecks. Boy meets girl, boy loses parents. Boy dresses up like giant bat. Girl finds a nice guy. Boy decides that the nice guy means he doesn't HAVE to dress up like a giant bat. Girl is blown up by killer clown. Boy thinks she would have waited for him, even though she was going to run off with the nice guy.


Amazing Spider Man 2

I haven't seen this one yet, mostly because I know what happens. I was never really a fan of Gwen Stacy in the comics, but Emma Stone made me like her. I was rooting for them. And then she gets dropped off of a clock tower. Really? Couldn't have waited until film #3?

Questionable Content

These are films and setups where you look at them and go ... "Was that a romance?"

The Dain Curse

Okay, this one is screwed up.

A Dashiell Hammett book made into a film, The Dain Curse centers around a rich girl who is hip deep in problems: there's a simple murder, to start with, and then a cult (and a murder), then another murder, and a bombing, AND she's got a major drug problem. Our main character is a PI hired by the family, who is dragged down the rabbit hole.

I"m not even sure if this one even counts, really. If there's really a romantic connection between the two, or what.


10 year old becomes an adult Tom Hanks. Meets adult woman. At the end of the film, he becomes a 10 year old again.

..... This one just makes my head hurt.

Count of Monte Cristo

Boy meets girl. Boy is thrown in jail. Boy comes back for revenge and finds that one of his targets married the girl. Boy destroys all of them. Girl informs boy that burning all of his bridges on a quest for revenge isn't cute or endearing, and leaves.

This one is questionable because the original love story isn't the focus of the film, or the novel -- it's the revenge. So does it count? No idea.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Yikes. What do you do with this one? Boy meets girl. We discover girl is a Nazi. Girl also slept with boy's father. Girl goes crazy and dies when she screws with the wrong artifact.

.... I won't even touch this one.

Zorba the Greek

Again, the love story here is secondary, and perhaps even tertiary.  Boy is setting up a business. Boy meets other boy. Both boys get girls. Boy #1 loses girl because a DIFFERENT boy killed himself because she wouldn't love him, and his family murders her. Boy #2 loses girl to disease. Business falls apart in epic failure.

I'm .... not even sure where to start. So I won't.

So, what did I miss? Anything in particular? 

For books where the boy will -- most likely -- get the girl ... eventually

Try some of these

The Love at First Bite series. 


Sunday, March 26, 2017

TONIGHT, ON The Catholic Geek: Dragon Award Winner Nick Cole 03/26

The Catholic Geek: Dragon Award Winner Nick Cole 03/26 by We Built That Network | Books Podcasts:

Dragon Award Nick Cole joins host Declan Finn to discuss his works.

Nick Cole is a former soldier and working actor living in Southern California. When he is not auditioning for commercials, going out for sitcoms or being shot, kicked, stabbed or beaten by the students of various film schools for their projects, he can be found writing books. Nick's Book The Old Man and the Wasteland was an Amazon Bestseller and #1 in Science Fiction. In 2016 Nick's book CTRL ALT Revolt won the Dragon Award for Best Apocalyptic novel. 

Try the Love at First Bite series.
Which should also be up for a Dragon Award.


Thursday, March 23, 2017

#NationalPuppyDay? Really?

I hate cute cat pictures on the internet.

According to Twitter, it's national Puppy Day.

.... Okay. Fine. I'll take that.

I like puppies.

As I said, I'm good with dogs.

Anyway, this has been an odd little week.

Nick Cole will be on the show this Sunday. Enjoy.

Try the Love at First Bite series. We have were-Puppies.

Yes, really.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Music blog: Street Fighter - Sonya Belousova

Ah, nostalgic video game music.


Yes, I know it's a little lazy, but I've done six other blogs this week already. I may not even do something for the rest of the week. We'll see.

Have fun.

Some books to read this to. Try some of the below.

Love at First Bite