Coming Soonish: Monsters, Legends, Huntsmen, and CIVIL WAR!!!!

Captain America: Civil War

Ah, fandom. Half of it’s like “STEVE AND BUCKY 4EVER!” and half of it’s like “ZOMG, did you SEE Black Panther?” But I’m just sitting here, alone and weeping, like, “But . . . but . . . so was I?” Actually, there are billions of Tony/Steve shippers out there, so I assume they’re crying with me, but for some reason I haven’t seen much from them so far. I guess I have more Stucky shippers on Twitter. (Also, I don’t really ship Tony and Steve, but I have such a huge thing for them being antagonistic friends who totally need each other, and this trailer is breaking my heart, damn it.)

All in all, Civil War looks pretty awesome. Of course, so did Age of Ultron, which isn’t even fair because that was pretty awesome; it just could’ve been better, and I still find that I’m disappointed in it. But I’m into this movie, despite myself. I think my main concerns remain the same:

a) I really need them to sell me on Tony being all pro-registration, because even with his presumed Ultron guilt, that’s a hard sell.

b) I need to really feel like both sides have a point because if half our heroes turn into assholes for no reason at all, I’m gonna be pissed.

c) I want Bruce Banner, goddamn it. (This is less of a serious concern and more of a personal woe because I’m a Banner fangirl, but also because not having him in a story where General Thunderbolt Ross is a major player kind of bugs me. Besides, can you imagine the Stark Spangled Banner angst? It would be INCREDIBLE.)

Obviously, I’m going to watch the hell out of Civil War. But it’s always hard, managing fangirl squee and realistic expectations. (I know, I know. First world nerd problems.)

DC Legends of Tomorrow

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Marvel/DC Movie/TV divide . . .

I’m not quite as psyched about this as other people, but I’m definitely going to give it a shot, especially considering I watch Arrow and Flash even when they continuously annoy me. (In Arrow’s defense, it’s been annoying me a lot less this season. Although it’s still only November. It has time.)

My thoughts on this particular trailer are as follows:

A. Vandal Savage kind of reminds me of Evil Jesus.

B. Heat Wave doesn’t appear to be toning it down even a little, and this concerns me. I’m not sure I can deal with Dominic Purcell at a 1000% intensity every single episode. I have a hard enough time dealing with him when he guest stars on The Flash as it is. Maybe he’ll be a big surprise death early on? (Also, Atom has an excellent point about trusting these dudes with a time machine.)

C. Boo, Hawkman. Although that’s not really fair. I just hated him on JLU, and presumably he’s not even the same Hawkman, considering Hawkgirl isn’t the same Hawkgirl. (I’m still deeply disappointed by this, but hopefully I’ll like Kendra, or at least become less resentful of her. It’s just, I loved Shayera, damn it. She was my very favorite on that show, second only to Batman, and Kevin Conroy’s Batman, even, who is obviously the best of all Batmans.)

D. I’m interested to see how/if this show will ever fuck with the other shows’ timelines, considering they’re apparently going to mess up shit in the past, and Arrow and Flash are both in the same universe. (And especially because Cisco’s whole deal has to do with parallel timelines/worlds and whatnot.) I might be over thinking it, though, because it’s not like Arrow and Flash can reboot their whole series every time someone on Legends screws up and saves someone who’s supposed to die or whatever. Still. I’m curious.

E. RORY!!!!!!!!!

The Forest

Like any sane person, I love Natalie Dormer and want to see more of her, but I can’t help but find this trailer pretty underwhelming. Maybe it’s because I just read a book set in Aokigahara that was chockfull of great, creepy-as-fuck imagery, but this looks incredibly generic to me. Nothing about it seems interesting: not the story, not the cinematography, certainly not the white (and almost certain) love interest. I mean, it’s not Gods of Egypt bad or anything–if you look at the cast on IMDB, you will actually see Asian people in it–but I can’t help but feel like it might not have been a terrible idea, having at least one of your leads be Japanese in a horror movie set in Japan.

Maybe this one’s better than it looks, but right now, my interest level is at zero, even with Natalie Dormer and Aokigahara involved.

A Monster Calls

Man, this looks gorgeous. Which is not at all surprising, considering J.A. Bayona (El Orfanato) directed it. The trailer above is only a teaser (not shocking, as the movie doesn’t come out for another year), but I’m already pretty excited about it, especially because of Bayona, and also because it’s based on a Patrick Ness book. (I haven’t read any of his work yet, but it’s on my to-do list. I’m especially interested in The Rest of Us Just Live Here.)

I’ve got to say, though: I’ve already seen a handful of these dark and beautiful fantasies where the main kid (or one of the main kids, anyway) tragically dies, and while I like those particular stories . . . I’m really hoping this one goes a different way.


And then there’s this. (NSFW, people.)

Moonwalkers looks very weird. Potentially funny, but possibly not my kind of humor, which is unfortunate since a movie about Ron Perlman and Rupert Grint very badly trying to fake the moon landing sounds kind of awesome. I’m all for the gory violence, but it’s clearly a WTF movie, and those come in so many shades.  I’m worried this one might end up being too surreal acid trip for my tastes. I got kind of a weird Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas vibe from it, and that was one of the very rare movies I actually didn’t finish. (Admittedly, it’s been roughly twelve years since I last tried it.)

Still, this is potentially interesting. I’ll be curious to see reviews and go from there.

And finally . . . The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Oh, seriously, what the hell.

Guys. GUYS. Snow White and The Huntsman? Not a good movie. It’s a pretty terrible movie, actually, so the fact that it’s getting a sequel at all is a little weird to me, but the people who are starring in it, like, WHY? I’ll give Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth the benefit of the doubt and assume they were contractually obligated to return, but Emily Blunt? Jessica Chastain? You are better than this. How much are they paying you compared to the millions of dollars you could be making working on anything else?

And man, do I need people to stop pretending that Kristen Stewart’s absence will make this movie so much better, like she was the only reason the first movie failed, cause seriously. What total horseshit. I’m not a huge Stewart fan myself, but she is far from the worst thing about that movie. Pretty much everything was a fail. Thin plot. Logic holes the size of Venus. Chris Hemsworth’s supposedly Scottish accent. The poor casting choice of the dwarves. The complete plot irrelevance of the dwarves. Snow’s supposedly inspirational speech and, oh yes, Charlize Theron herself. I’m sorry, guys. I ADORE Theron after Fury Road, just like the rest of the internet, but her performance in Snow White is TERRIBLE. And not only is she back, but it appears that evil baby sister Emily Blunt is going to mimic Theron’s performance by taaaaaalking liiiiiike THISSSSSS the whole time. (On a semi-related note, I wonder if they’ll remember to mention the Wicked Queen’s dead brother from the first movie. I say they forget.)

I feel like I should talk some about the apparent plot of this movie, but . . . it just looks so silly and contrived. It’s apparently not a prequel, though, like I originally thought–which is just as well, since Jessica Chastain’s character is the only one I’m even remotely interested in, and that would mean she’s the Huntsman’s tragically dead wife. On the other hand, Wikipedia tells me that Snow White chose Will after all, and while the ending technically does leave the love triangle open . . . come on, guys, everyone knows that Will was no serious threat to Magic Lips Hemsworth. (Amusingly, Will is going to be in this movie too, even though Snow White isn’t. Like, what?)

If I actually end up watching this, it’s definitely going to be another drinking game night.

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“At Least I Get To See Her. Even If She Is Being Chased By a Psycho With a Machete.”

When I first heard about The Final Girls back in August, I was totally delighted by the concept and I had every intention of watching the movie in theater. Unfortunately, I then discovered that this was not meant to be, for the film had a limited release, and Sonoma County–not shockingly–was not part of said release. I was pretty bummed by this.

Now, however, I’ve finally had time to watch the film. My conclusions?


Yeah, I’m pretty sure The Final Girls just made it on my list of Favorite Horror Comedies of all time.

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At The Book Smugglers: “The Price You Pay is Red”

Rejoice! (Or whatever.) “The Price You Pay is Red” (the sequel to “The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper”) is HERE, sort of like an early birthday present, only it’s one I made myself and then submitted to The Book Smugglers by saying, “Please please PLEASE fix this because I can’t gift wrap for shit.” And then they gave it back to me, all super nice and spiffy, and simultaneously offered it to the world so that everyone might enjoy it, or else find it wanting. What I’m saying here is that I hope you read the story, and I hope you like it and have fun, but if it doesn’t work for you . . . sorry, and maybe we can post our harsh critiques on any day that ISN’T this Saturday?

Here’s the abbreviated summary, stolen once again from The Book Smugglers:


The story is available to read for free at the link above. (You can also read about my inspiration for this story here.) OR, at the same link, you can download “The Price You Pay is Red” on your e-reader of choice for ($2.99). The eBook comes with exclusive content, like Case Files, a Q&A with yours truly, and–most importantly–“The Girl Friday Blues,” a bonus short story from Jack’s POV.

Happy reading!

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“Mars Will Come to Fear My Botany Powers.”

Earlier this year, I read The Martian by Andy Weir, and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it the way most peopled seemed to. Which, honestly, kind of feels like my personal theme for 2015, much to my annoyance. I’m totally okay loving an It-book; like, despite the name of this blog, I’m not actively looking to disagree with my fellow nerds. It just seems to keep happening to me.

Still, I was really excited to see this movie because I felt like a lot of the problems I had with the story wouldn’t actually be applicable to the film itself, and I was excited to see if this was the rare — nay, the first — film that I enjoyed more than the book when I’d read the book first. Up until last week, that had never happened.


But now it has because I thought The Martian was a pretty solid film.

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I Have Returned! (With a Cover Reveal, Even!)

Hello, again. Sorry for the unexpected absence last week, but I’m back now for all the usual analysis, snark, and shameless self-promotion.

As far as self-promotion goes: “The Price You Pay is Red” — the second story in my Spindle City series — will be available to download/read next Tuesday, 11/24. Today, though, is the big cover reveal. If you’d like to see it and/or read more about the story, click here. (It is, if I may quote The Book Smugglers Twitter Feed: “The  Empire Strikes Back of our little series, AKA, Where Everything Turns To Shit.”)

As far as analysis/snark goes: I’ll have a movie review up tomorrow. More analysis than snark, on that one, but I’m sure I’ll manage to poke fun at something somewhere, as is my wont.

It’s been a hard few days for the world. Here’s hoping for a more peaceful, more tolerant week ahead.

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Season Premiere Review Round-Up – Numero Tres: 10/26 -11/6



Oh, I’ve missed you, show. Admittedly, I’m slightly annoyed with you for casting the excellent John Noble (everyone’s favorite dad for daddy issues) and then only giving him roughly twelve seconds of screen time at the very end of the episode — bastards– but other than that, this was a very solid premiere. (I know, I know, he’s sticking around. You’re still a bunch of damn teases, all of you.)

I will never get tired of watching Sherlock and Joan trying to take care of each other. They have one of my very favorite platonic relationships anywhere on TV, and Jonny Lee Miller and Lucy Liu work really well off one another. I also really liked Sherlock’s moment with Gregson, since I was expecting the latter to be all, “Grrr, argh, you did bad things!” instead of saying, “You’re acting like you did something; something was done to you.” It was a welcome surprise, and maybe, hopefully hinted that Elementary isn’t planning to just let Sherlock recover from what happened in an episode or two? (Elementary is usually pretty good about that sort of thing, actually, which is undoubtedly one of the reasons I enjoy it so much.)

The case itself isn’t anything deeply exciting — I guessed David Zayas was the bad guy just from seeing his name in the credits — but I didn’t mind so much, considering just how much emotional fallout the show had to deal with. And can I just say, that killer dude who shot himself in the head? He was super effectively creepy. I tried to look up the actor to give him kudos, but couldn’t seem to find him. Well, anyway. Kudos, Mystery Actor!


Not sure. “My compliments to the virgins whose blood you bathe in” was a pretty great line. Also, the scene were Joan threatens to punch Sherlock’s Dad’s Snotty Assistant in the face. That was pretty good for me.



The Librarians


I was so happy when The Librarians got renewed — it’s such a silly, fun, enjoyable show — but the two-part season premiere was really just okay for me. It wasn’t bad, exactly; it just felt a little off for some reason. Forced, maybe. Part of it, probably, has to do with Flynn, who I just don’t think fits in all that well with the rest of the team. And I was a big fan of Carter and ER in my day, but I can’t help but feel that Noah Wyle just doesn’t have quite the right amount of manic charm for the role. (I’m sure I’ve said this before, but watching him here mostly makes me yearn for Matt Smith, who could probably do this part blindfolded.)

Worse, the more time we spend with Flynn, the less time we spend with the characters I’d rather be watching, which is literally everyone else in the cast. I feel kind of bad about it, but I’m pretty happy Flynn’s not going to be in every episode because I think the team actually has a more interesting dynamic without him.

Lest it all be negative, I did still have some fun watching “And the Drowned Book” and “And the Broken Staff.” I enjoy the whole idea of the Fictionals and I look forward to their villainous shenanigans. (Although Prospero and Moriarty, while decent enough, kinda make me miss Matt Frewer as the Big Bad. Then again, I’m pretty partial to that guy.) I know Baird made me laugh a few times, although I can’t seem to remember any of her lines now. (I really should start taking notes for these things.) And I was definitely amused by the failed hug-it-out defense against Frankenstein’s monster. I love it when hugs fail because I’m a terrible person.


Yeah, probably Frankenstein’s monster. (Though I wouldn’t minded if he looked even slightly less silly.) Oh, or Ezekiel’s defense on why he doesn’t know how to use a card catalogue: “It’s the 21st century. I don’t know how to shoe a horse, either.” Word.





This show has been getting some serious love online — nerds, critics, presumably some regular people, too — but so far, I’ve gotta be honest: I’m kinda iffy on it. On the upside, I think Melissa Benoist herself has a ridiculous amount of charm, and I really enjoy watching her as Kara. Not everyone can fully rock that whole adorkable vibe, but so far she seems up to the challenge. I also didn’t call that her sister Alex — crap, it’s gonna be really hard not calling her Lexie — was a secret field agent, so that was a pleasant surprise. And Jimmy — crap, it’s gonna be really hard not calling him Eggs — is pleasant enough to look at/listen to. Also on the plus side: casting Dean Cain and Helen Slater as Supergirl’s adopted parents, not to mention pretty much everything about Calista Flockhart.

That all being said . . . look, I don’t mind showcasing more optimistic superhero stories; I really don’t, but guys, some of the dialogue here is painfully earnest. Obvious, too. I don’t want to be able to guess half the things the characters are about to say, especially if they’re going to say supremely stupid things like, “Why, because she’s a girl? That’s exactly what we were counting on!” Sweet Jesus, enough. You could make a drinking game off this pilot; take a shot whenever a character makes it obvious that this is a Female Superhero Show. And don’t get me wrong — I’m not asking for Supergirl to be a show where the superhero just happens to be female, like I’m totally fine with them acknowledging her gender and the bullshit she has to face because of it. But the lack of the subtlety in the dialogue just kills me dead. I want to feel empowered watching Supergirl, not pandered to. Mostly, however, I felt pandered to, and pissed off because of it.

Being fair, though, this is a pilot. There’s plenty of time for improvement in the script . . . but I know that if it doesn’t come in the first season, there’s no way I’m making it to the second. I will also need Friendzone to improve rapidly because I can’t possibly express just how bored I am by that whole tired setup. And while I know Hank Henshaw is supposed to be an ass, could he somehow be, like, less of an annoying ass? Because his dickishness is so one-note at this point that I just want to yawn whenever he opens his mouth.


Hm. Maybe Kara’s excitement when she saves the plane? It’s always nice seeing someone embrace the powers that you would kill for, rather than treating them like it’s some massive curse.



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Well, Here We Go

Okay, folks. It’s been a long time coming, but my story “The Case of the Little Bloody Slipper” is now available for free to read on The Book Smugglers.

Here’s a brief plot summary, shamelessly stolen straight from The Book Smugglers themselves:

Jimmy Prince is a private detective with a tendency to make bad decisions, take on hopeless cases, and ask too many questions. But no one is answering his inquiries about Ella, the mysterious dame who slipped into the Prince family gala, stayed for a dance, then disappeared at midnight leaving just a single bloody glass slipper behind.

With the help of his trusty assistant Jack (a street-savvy teen runaway who is as tough as she is resourceful), Jimmy finally catches a break when one of Spindle City’s most powerful players, the Godmother, lets slip that Ella is part of a much larger conspiracy and not at all who she seems. With every new clue, Jimmy finds himself a step farther down a path that threatens to uncover some of the city’s best kept, and most deadly, secrets.

In Spindle City, all kinds of tales get told… for a price. Asking the wrong question is a guaranteed one-way ticket to the long and silent ever after.

Taking on this new case might just be Jimmy Prince’s biggest mistake yet.

And as a reminder, this is only the first story in a trilogy of novelettes that will be updated every few weeks. So if you like what you see, good news! The next story will be available on 11/24/15.

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