The Force Awakens New Trailer Review and Thoughts

I watched this new Force Awakens trailer with Mike (the other half) last night, and I had some reservations.

He thinks that I’m just irritated because now I have more questions than answers, (which is probably true,) but also, something about this new trailer troubles me. So, thought I’d write-up a quick blog post to puzzle it out.

I was disappointed when I learned a few years ago that Lucas had sold his masterpiece to Disney, because, well, Disney likes to ruin things. Like important things. By adding their own interpretation to the field. (Any fans of Boy Meets World see their Girl Meets World version? Yuck.)

But when I heard that J. J. Abrams was at the helm of the project, and all of the resources and money that Disney has, I thought okay…this movie might have a chance.

Then I saw this trailer and all of those doubts started to creep in again.

In this new trailer we finally see what we can assume are the main characters of the film : a former Storm Trooper, and a young brown-haired girl, Rey, living on what looks like Tatooine. I thought it was possibly Leia’s and Han’s daughter, but, according to this new trailer, it doesn’t really seem that way.

To be honest, I’m going to be very annoyed (I’m already annoyed) if this young woman is not in any way related to the Skywalkers. Because…I mean, come on, its STAR WARS; a lot of the main plot is centered around one big romance that ends tragically between Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala.

Of course, I could be reading into something that is meant to be vague on purpose – it is J.J. Abrams after all.

Anyway, the tone I got from the new trailer – so melancholy. There’s a lot of reminiscing going on (from what we’ve seen) but I hope that the film doesn’t get bogged down on what Star Wars was, and to focus on what it still is…to continue mastering a great story.

That being said, there’s got to be a balance, too. It needs to have some of that old Star Wars feel, (from the three great originals,) but also be fresh and exciting for this cinematic age. And although we love Star Wars, we hope that J.J Abrams also remembers that we love the universe of Star Wars, too, so we hope that it still feels like it’s in that galaxy far, far, away…with all the action scenes, explosions, droids, unexpectedly adorable aliens, and quotable lines, (minus the corniness)…

But, I don’t think that’s asking too much…right? 😉

Anyway, do you guys have any thoughts on the new movie? Are there things you are definitely looking forward to?

I’ve decided that I didn’t hate the new trailer, but it definitely did make me irritated because it managed to answer NONE of my questions. Hmm. Just like LOST all over again. Oh, J. J. Abrams.

Hope everyone has a great night!

 

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8 TV Shows to love and find inspiration from

I get a lot of my inspiration from great TV shows, and I think people sometimes forget that TV Shows are only as good as the writers behind them. It has to have all the pieces in the formula to make it complete: great characters, an interesting and believable world and a great story.

I get inspired by these great stories and characters and love them sometimes just as much as my favorite books. So I thought I’d share some of my favorites of the past several years and why I think they deserve a good watch.

(It all depends on what you are into, too.) Me, I love science fiction/fantasy and alternate realities, but mostly I love great characters and these shows have all that and more:

8. Once Upon a Time Once-Upon-a-Time-Poster

From the brilliant creators of LOST, the first few seasons follow Emma and the other characters of Storybrooke, Maine in a world where fairy tale creatures don’t know who they truly are. The show presses you to believe in them as you follow these troubled characters and hope that they’ll be able to find true happiness. There’s true love between Snow White and Prince Charming, and despite the clichés, there happens to be something different and fresh about each character you see here, and you will see all sorts of fairy tale characters from multiple worlds.

7. Chuck1024x768chuck_sarah1

One of my favorites, but clearly not up to par as a show like Game of Thrones. Chuck is about “Chuck,” a man who works at a Buy More (think Best Buy) whose life changes when he has a super computer downloaded into his head. Mostly I love this show because of Chuck played by Zachary Levi. Others might know him as the voice of Flynn on Disney’s Tangled. He’s that awkward, yet handsome nerd that everyone has in their lives and knows and loves. He’s relate-able, there’s action, there’s chemistry, and instead of becoming repetitive, the show and the characters continue to grow throughout the seasons.

6. BonesBones_(1)Bones is about forensic anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan, and how her partnership with the FBI helps them solve murders. I love the chemistry between Dr. Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) and FBI agent, Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz). It is a relationship that definitely has more depth to it than just physical chemistry. You begin to understand that at the end of the day, these two are best friends, and can overcome any odds together. Plus, there’s a great cast and a humor that evens out the gruesome deaths and murders that the crew solves on each episode. Without the chemistry between all the characters, this show would have died a quick death a long time ago.

5. Downton Abbey

DowntonAbbey1A period drama that focuses on the lives of the people who live and work in a large house, “Downton Abbey” that functions in the early 1900s and into the 1920s. Each character faces trials and tribulations, and the characters downstairs, (the kitchen, maids, footmen, etc.) are just as important as the lords and ladies of the manor in all their finery. Maggie Smith delivers great one liners, and the costumes, colors and dialogue transports you to a world that is very different from the one we live in now. I have a hard time writing after watching this show, merely because the character’s accents and mannerisms get in my head and it is sometimes hard to switch it off! It is a great show if you need to escape for a while.

4. Breaking Bad

Breaking-Bad-Season-51It is fourth, merely because there are other TV shows that I love more, however, this one takes the cake when it comes to great writing. The show is about high school chemistry teacher, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), who is diagnosed with lung cancer. He decides to make and sell crystal meth to leave a legacy for his family.  I love the bro-mance between Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston’s characters, and each season amps up the suspense as you’re taken along with Walter White on his journey of self discovery. It challenges the idea of right and wrong and each episode feels like a movie – there’s a lot of cinematic moments, great landscapes; Vince Gilligan is a pro when it comes to the awkward conversation.

3. Game of Thrones

Game_of_thrones_castGeorge R.R. Martin’s books come to life on the screen, the phrase “Winter is coming,” should be heard throughout the realm – this show airs on HBO on Sunday nights, although now we have to wait a whole year for the new season! The show follows several characters, (more than several actually) as they make their way through the seven kingdoms; some with desires for the throne, some with dragons, some with destinations of their own. There’s gruesome deaths, sex, love, fights, dragons, and epic fantasy. If you love all that…then this show is for you. The show doesn’t skimp on the special effects either…it is HBO after-all. Not for the faint of heart, but that’s what makes it so great.

2. LOST

lost-headerAnd yes, I wrote it in great big capital letters, like it appeared on the show. (Writing it in lowercase just seems an insult to the show really.) LOST follows the lives of several survivors of a plane crash on an island somewhere in the south pacific. Unbeknownst to them, there is a greater purpose at work here as we learn how these characters lives are interconnected. There are so many themes in here for the starving English major: Death/Life, Science/Religion, Heaven/Hell, Right/Wrong, Retribution/Rebirth; it is a conspiracy theorist’s paradise and the skies the limit on what may or may not happen here. I fell in love with this show, and it is definitely worth it to see great actors, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly, and of course Josh Holloway’s dimples.

1. Firefly

FireflyI don’t know if you have heard the story: Firefly, the almost was. It aired for 14 episodes, when producers cancelled the show, not realizing (apparently) that it was starting to grow a fan-base; a fan-base so large that they were able to make a movie to conclude the show! I don’t know if there is a producer somewhere kicking himself for the mistake (there should be!) but had this continued on for five or more seasons it would have been a huge hit. Like every Firefly fan, it bugs me to no end that there weren’t more episodes to this show…ANYWAY…

Firefly follows Captain Malcolm Reynolds and his crew on Serenity as they ‘keep on flying,’ in the black; taking jobs when they can, either legal or illegally all while trying to exist under the empire of the Alliance, which tries its best to make the little man feel very small and insignificant. It touches on the idea of freedom and what it truly means; as well as friendship, loyalty and love. But mostly what draws you in is the great characters – a testament to Joss Whedon’s writing skills, of course. Viewers are usually hooked after the first episode. (I know I was!)

Well, that’s that! If you have other great TV shows that deserve a good watch, let me know! I’ve also recently started watching Orange is the New Black – and that one has got me hooked as well!

Happy Writing people!

 

 

 

 

20 Random Questions about ME

Here’s something a little different…in case you were curious about the person behind the blog. I’ve posted a lot of posts, but nothing very much about me. So I made some of my own random questions…Maybe we’ll find out that we have something in common! 🙂

1212122120 meeeeeeee

1. What room am I in right now?

I am sitting in my office. I can hear traffic outside my window right now, and the weather is kind of gloomy and grey, but it is so nice having my own writing space. Even finally put curtains up this morning! They are purple.

2. Margarine or Butter?

Butter all the way! I grew up with Margarine though, yuck. I think butter is the best for cooking, though.

3. Who is my favorite celebrity crush?

For guys? Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth. For girls? Mmm…Keri Russel? She is soo pretty.

4. What is my favorite kind of food?

Italian food, yum! Anything with sauce, cheese, pasta, some kind of chicken or mushrooms…or meatballs, siigh, or garlic! Getting hungry thinking about it.

5. What is my favorite TV Show?

Right now, Game of Thrones. But LOST still remains a favorite.

source: zdnet.com

6. Who is my favorite author? Who do I most admire?

J.K. Rowling, of course. If I could come close to the depth and detail that she has created in her worlds, I would be alright, I think.

7. What do I order when I am out for breakfast?

Pancakes and sausage, home-fries and fried eggs over-easy. Last time I ordered bacon and ham, too.

8. If I could have a superpower, what would it be?

Superman powers – super strength, speed, X-ray vision, ability fly. Yeah, it’d be fun to just like jump over a building and be where you need to be.

9. What is my favorite animal?

There are so many. I really like sea creatures. Whales are probably my favorite; Blue whales, humpback whales and killer whales but I also like frogs, and turtles too.

10. What is one of my favorite books?

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore.

11. What music do I listen to on a day to day basis?

On Pandora:  a lot of 90’s hits, but also Ingrid Michaelson, and Disney songs

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

Pennsylvania Grand Canyon.

12. If I could travel anywhere in the world, where would I go?

New Zealand. I want to see all the gorgeous scenery that was viewed on all the LOTR movies, it’d also be extremely cool to visit Hobbiton, too.

13. Fiction or reality?

I have a theory influenced by the movie, The Words, that writers struggle with living in fiction or reality. They can chose one or the other, but after awhile, one or the other becomes the reality. The idea is to find the balance between the two, but is that truly possible?

14. Car or truck?

I have a tan Toyota Camry 99. Trucks are cool for those that have something to haul around, but I have no need for it. Plus, I love my Camry.000_0010

15. What do I like best about summer?

The heat! I like being so warm that’s it’s like there’s a blanket wrapped around my shoulders. I can wear flip flops and a dress and at 8 o’clock at night it is still 80 degrees… yeah, that’s my idea of a nice summer.

16. If I were to fix dinner right now, what would it be?

Something simple and comforting. Probably some kind of chicken breast, mashed potatoes and peas.

17. Why do I write?

I write because I feel like half myself without expressing myself on the page. Because there is some kind of peace, some kind of balance in myself when I get the ideas down on the page. One day when I was fourteen and in  English class, I decided I wanted to be the one whose words were quoted and cherished, like something sweet and savory in your mouth. I wanted to be the one to impress people with my words.

100_010718. What was my favorite pet’s name?

His name was Patches, he was a black and white cat who was a goofball and very mischievous. I have never had a cat with such personality before. He’d pounce the other cats when they were sleeping, he’d follow them places, he was a loud mouth, he had terrible luck when it came to hunting mice.

19. If I could live in an alternate reality, where would it be?

I sometimes think about worlds out there other then our own, I wonder what it would be like to live if the sky was purple, the grass was blue and the water was pink? What if we have five limbs instead of four? What if our whole world was underwater?

20. Where do I see myself in 10 years?

Published. No doubt about it. Settled down someplace warm with my graduate degree. In some kind of academic career, or writing professionally, perhaps with a family of my own.

 

Hope you enjoyed! Thoughts below if you got ’em!

Once Upon a Time Review 10/14/12 – Ogres, Emma and a Parent’s Love

Well, after going on hiatus from here for a while, I’ve come back with an idea. I will now only review shows that I think are worthy of viewing. I like trying new shows and giving people a heads up on great TV and what to avoid – but this girl just doesn’t have the time. After wheedling out the shows that I think will make or break it this season, I think I will stick to my reviewing of Once Upon a Time and a new one I have high hopes for – Arrow.

That being said…Once Upon a Time certainly knows how to pull the heartstrings!

Disclaimer: Mild spoilers in this review!

Photo credit: ABC.

Sunday night’s episode of Once Upon a Time seemed to focus on this theme: a parent’s love, and what said parent may or may not do for the sake of their child.

The back story focused on Snow and Charming; and Snow meeting Charming’s mother. Lancelot makes an appearance as a knight for hire working for King George, and admits that he has fallen from grace because of a woman. All I can say is that I am relieved that they gave this Lancelot a new face and have not fallen into the cliché of making Lancelot the Casanova of the Round Table; like what we’ve seen in various movie renditions. More of his story to come, I’m sure!

Snow, Emma, Mulan and Aurora spend some quality time together in this episode and I have to say I am impressed with the way these characters are coming together. Pairing two unlikely characters (Mulan and Aurora) together was a risky business, but I am loving the comradery we are seeing between these two. They are learning and growing from each other and I love how Mulan is just the right amount of bossy and caring for the princess Aurora that we can’t help but care for her some, too.

I also love seeing Emma in a world where she is not comfortable, because it is also forcing her to grow as a character. Emma is hard to sympathize with at best because she has always been so cold. I, personally love her complexity. But in this episode we are reminded again why she is so closed off and the scenes between her and snow are much more poignant because of it.

Some other observations:

  • Regina’s joy at getting a call from Henry. We love the boy, but a woman’s heart can only be broken so many times. Once again we are left feeling sorry for the evil queen.
  • No Mr. Gold in this episode, but that’s alright. Lots of Charming, though, to make up for it!
  • King George is in the Storybrooke world, too! (Alan Dale) Lost fans will recognize him as Charles Widmore.

Highlights:

  • Henry’s new code phrase, “Operation Scorpion.”
  • Snow saving her daughter from the ogre.
  • Snow flipping Princess Aurora over her shoulder and telling her to get over her crap and find new ways to channel her anger. Will be interesting to see how she finds ways to do this.
  • Emma loaning the jacket to the princess, who says, “What kind of corset is this?”
  • Jefferson’s reunion with his daughter.
  • Cora, Regina’s mother. The big bad is also in the Enchanted Forest world, huh, go figure.
  • And lastly, Emma admitting her anger to Snow and her realization that she is not good at being a daughter, because she never had someone to put her first before.

This scene between Snow and Emma really moved me. (It’s also because I am a sap and get too attached to characters that I love.) But there were a few times in this episode where the tears were just at the surface. Another great example of good character development and growth. Another great episode!

Here’s a sneak peek of the next episode:

Revolution Review – Step Aside Charlie, Uncle Miles is Here

***Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched tonight’s episode “No Quarter,” I suggest you go do that now before reading this.***

Well, after having recovered from the disappointment of not seeing a sexy “Nate,” in tonight’s episode of Revolution, there was then more room for bloodshed as the sword fights, gunfights, shooting people, oh, and the blowing things up resumed.

One thing can be said about Revolution: they don’t skimp on the action. Where as the characters are tromping around blowing stuff up, it leaves little room for other things: like compassion, and oh…does anyone have a sense of humanity anymore? Or when the power goes out, are we really going to shoot each other because we’re starving, thirsty, cold and sick?

It’s an uncomfortable thought…and done maybe a bit too well in this show. I refuse to believe that when everything is gone to the dogs, our sense of humanity will go with it…but, perhaps that’s the case for most people. Everyone has to make a choice. Like I read in a recent interview between Once Upon a Time creators, who said: “Everyone’s got darkness in them.” But would everyone truly act on it? There’s a difference between fighting for your life and becoming a murderer. The line is getting a bit too thin here.

If that’s the case, Charlie stands out like a bright light in the darkness compared to the other characters that she is often sandwiched between. She’s all about ‘getting Danny back’ and ‘remembering what ice cream tastes like.’ But for one who has grown up in a harsher world, why does she appear so innocent? Meanwhile, Nora is all about ‘making things mean something,’ while Miles is jealous because she may or may not be seeing another man. (Is it just me, or is a jealous Miles kinda hott?)

Miles is…oh, only captain of the militia, founder of the Monroe Republic. Whaat?! (Hah! I told my mom that I had a feeling that Monroe was just a stand-in.)

Anyway, tonight’s episode was definitely a shift in character. It was definitely Mile’s story and Mile’s journey and the fact that the show started off under Charlie’s point of view seems kind of silly now. (I, who loves a great heroine…feels kinda gipped, actually.)

This story is becoming very much a Mile’s story, and no matter how much you’ve got Charlie flirting with injured young men, militia men, or shooting or blowing things up, she’s not the one behind all the goings-on here. She’s just an innocent, a bystander, who desperately needs her uncle, but at the same time, doesn’t want him telling her what to do.

While Miles certainly isn’t bad to look at, and seems to have more a complexity of character that I’m starting to admire…he’s shifty. Protagonist or Antagonist? Are the writers trying to make us love a bad man gone good kind of thing? Who obviously feels like he doesn’t care anymore, despite his actions. Or, am I just beating myself up over a character who was not thought out very well…heh. I like to hope that first impressions aren’t everything.

That being said, there is one character, however, who is surprising me and that is: Danny. For someone who is trapped, helpless and alone, he is defining himself as a character and as a person in more ways than his cross-bow shooting sister ever is. I love the fact that she is a sister who cares and wants her brother back, but what else does she stand for? He also gets great lines, too.

So does our Mr. Billionaire comic relief guy. He’s always got some interesting things to say, and he’s just a side character. So, I wonder why Charlie is so one-dimensional?? It is frustrating to see the story build on such great male roles, while our heroines are falling to the wayside. Was kind of neat to see Jacob from LOST, though.

Anyway, Revolution’s still holding strong with its action, but the characterization, or lack there of, is starting to take its toll on me. Dialogue’s not bad…some good things get said, and the casting is good, I think. Miles, is definitely a favorite of mine. (He’s just so interesting to look at!) But, sadly, Charlie is not serving a purpose. Thanks, NBC, you had us all fooled. I wouldn’t be surprised if Charlie is the one that gets killed in the next episode. It’ll probably be the blond haired chick, though. What’s her name? See, I can’t even remember. What a shame.

Once Upon a Time – Broken is a New Beginning

***Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched ABC’s Once Upon a Time season two premiere, I would go do so now before reading this! And you really should, because it was AWESOME!***

Photo credit: http://www.abc.com. (I am not sure where to find photos of my favorite television shows for my reviews. I noticed that some people seem to take a general advertising picture and give it a credit. I don’t want to accidentally steal anything. If anyone has any info of the Do’s and Don’ts in regard to this, that’d be awesome!)

Well, what to say first? My head is still spinning with all that we just saw in Once Upon a Time‘s season two premiere, “Broken.”

The show started off with a mysterious scene in everyday life, a man in the city, who receives news that the curse in Storybrooke, Maine is broken. Who sent the news? Someone from the town? My impressions? (I think It’s got to be Rumpelstiltskin’s son!)

What follows is a scene that is reminiscent to the series premiere, we are panning across a vast, green land and this time there are two horses, leading us to a castle, to the start of our story…to our destiny…

I get the feeling that the series’ creators/writers worked very hard to give this show a fresh, new beginning. They wanted to start off this season with the right characters, the right excitement  and present us with a new story (because the first season’s story had ended) and they certainly delivered!

My brain is still swimming with all the questions that we have here, so I’ll do what I do best: ask questions of my own.

What caught my attention the most?

  • Dr. Whale. (How awesome was Snow mentioning her one night stand, hehe!) Who exactly is he? Is he his own prince??
  • Mulan!! I had heard that they were going to bring some new characters in. I must say, I love the casting and the portrayal of this character. Well done!
  • The man at the beginning of the show. Who is he? Is he Mr. Gold’s son?
  • I never thought I’d feel bad for Regina, until she gets that mark on her hand. And then about two scenes later, I’m hating her all over again because she’s got our Prince Charming pinned against a wall and she let Emma and Snow get sucked into the portal.

What I loved about tonight’s episode?

  • Well, Mulan, durh! Her costume. her hairstyle – yeah, everything!
  • The idea of seeing Emma in a fairy-tale world. We’ve got fairy-tale creatures in the modern world, what happens when it’s the other way around?
  • The soul stealer thing! Um, okay…he was creepy and believable. I was worried about how the magic would look in the real world, that it might be too corny. I worried in vain! It looks pretty cool if you ask me.
  • Henry calling Prince Charming “Grandpa.” They were a family again…even if it was just for a moment.
  • Belle and Rumple’s almost relationship. Oh, she is a strong girl…
  • The fact that we’ve got a new story line to look forward this season!

And so far, it appears to be a strong one, too! Emma, Snow, Mulan and Sleeping Beauty in the fairytale world. Regina’s got her powers back. There’s the soul-sucking monster. There’s Jefferson. There’s Charming and Henry together. There’s a promise that Regina may or may not keep to her son, Henry. Will she be able to keep her powers in check? Oh, magic does come at a price indeed…

Plus, there’s new characters to look forward to! Lancelot. Captain Hook. Oh, I must say, I love this show, and tonight’s episode only just made me fall in love more. Sure, we’ve got cliché, but it’s good cliché and great characters. One things for certain, this show isn’t called “Happily Ever After” for a reason.

Iconic Characters in Movies and TV

Just finished watching Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and I guess I am struck tonight by how inspiring great movie characters are and the writing behind them.

When you see the silhouette of Indiana Jones on the big screen, one doesn’t always see the great writing that went into such a script, but its been something that I’ve been thinking about lately. How great movie/TV characters stay with you and are a great inspiration for me, especially as a writer.

Everything about the characterization of Indiana Jones is well thought out, so cleverly or accidentally crafted; right down to the name of course. I did not know that Indiana was the name of George Lucas’ dog at the time! Hah!

But I was just telling my mother earlier today: “Look at a great character like Sawyer from Lost.”

Mom: “Yeah, what about him?”

Me: “Everything about the character is Sawyer, even the name. You can say the name Sawyer and you automatically know who or what that person is and (in Sawyer’s case) what clever lines he might have.”

Mom: “Okay…”

But my line of thinking is this: Who wouldn’t want to create a character as great as Sawyer, or Indiana Jones or Han Solo? To write something that has become legendary and I guess that’s the ultimate success, isn’t it? When the character becomes more than what’s on the page. It just simply IS.

(Here’s hoping that the new show Revolution has a similar feel, yeah? Even some of the lines we see in the trailer look good. But ah, I digress…)

When a character, or when a character’s lines or scenes or actions get inside you and make you laugh, cry or feel something – that is the ultimate success, too. Who wouldn’t want to create a character that quite literally flies off the page and reaches others? Because I know I definitely would!

The excitement of it…every little detail; to a head nod, to a muscle twitch in someone’s left hand…to their rumpled clothes. The perfect details. The perfect character. Ah… now who wouldn’t call that poetry?

New TV Show: Revolution! Yeah!

Is anyone as excited as me about this new TV show coming on NBC in the fall??

My Dad’s only comment: “Where do they get the bows and arrows and swords from?” Hehehe. I love him.

Finally, NBC’s taking a show of post apocalyptic proportions and presenting it to us for entertainment! (Eh, with the exception of Terra Nova…and we all know how thaat turned out.) J. J. Abram’s involved, so it can’t be too terrible, right? Very excited about this!

As I am an avid TV watcher and lover (of course I am! I’m nerdy like that!) I will occasionally be reviewing some of my favorite TV shows on here. Revolution will most definitely be making an appearance. Also, keep an eye out for reviews of Vampire Diaries, Bones, and Once Upon a Time later on.

I love the summer, but I am excited about the new season of TV starting soon! FINALLY! Something worth watching! Can’t wait!