MEGA Coming Soon-Ish: Not-So-Live From Comic Con

It’s been years since I’ve gone to Comic Con. I’m always deeply envious when it’s going on, but luckily, the internet provides some of the shiny without me having to get up at the crack of dawn for a 5:00pm panel in Hall H.

Here are a bunch of trailers that came from San Diego’s massive annual nerd convention.

Justice League

I did not like Man of Steel. I did not like Batman v Superman. But God help me, Justice League actually looks pretty fun so far.

I mean, I’m not totally getting my hopes up. It’s super early days and, to my eternal disappointment, Zack Snyder is still at the helm. There is still the serious likelihood that this will be another stupidly angsty, convoluted mess.

But I actually liked Ben Affleck as Batman in BvS, and I really enjoy his chemistry with Gal Gadot. Ezra Miller is working for me, so long as they don’t push that whole awkward nerd thing too far into the ground. And Aquaman, naturally, looks all handsome and manly. Disappointingly, we don’t see much of Cyborg, but overall it’s not a terrible first look. If the movie can create interesting team dynamics and remember to actually be entertaining (and, you know, make sense), I could be into it.

Wonder Woman

And speaking of promising . . .

I have a lot more hope for Wonder Woman, although I have to say that if I don’t like it . . . I might not be going to see Justice League after all, cause, like, I’ve already given this franchise two chances and been pretty disappointed with both films. Fourth times the charm kind of isn’t a thing.

This trailer is decent. I don’t know if I’m totally wowed by it, but I am interested. I definitely liked that moment where Wonder Woman’s all, “What I do is not up to you.” YES. More of this, please. In fact, all of this.

I admit, I’m curious to how they’ll treat love interest Chris Pine: will he primarily function as a typical love interest, or will he get to do more just because he’s a guy? The latter would kind of annoy me, but so long as Wonder Woman’s motivation doesn’t solely revolve around him (and the movie doesn’t solely focus on leg shots), I could be into this. I desperately want it to be good, anyway, considering if it’s not, plenty of people won’t just consider it a bad superhero film. Rather, people will use it as “proof” that female-led superhero movies are terrible and don’t attract audiences. But we’ll have to wait a while to see how that turns out.

Doctor Strange

It’s interesting. I have the same casting problems that everyone has already mentioned, but . . . hot damn, are the visuals in this stunning.

I’m sure I’ll see this movie. It has a great cast, and it looks both beautiful and weird. Marvel meets Inception, you know? But as much as I love Benedict Cumberbatch and Tilda Swinton . . . I wish they weren’t in this particular story.

The LEGO Batman Movie

I’m still worried that this is going to be a one-joke story that can’t fill up a whole movie, but this latest trailer does make me smile. LIFE DOESN’T GIVE YOU SEAT BELTS. Although poor Robin. Someday, Robin will get to be cool on screen. You know, when Michael Cera isn’t the one voicing him.

Luke Cage

I don’t think I have anything to say to this but DAMN.

I’m into it. I’m definitely into it.


Er . . .

I honestly don’t really know what to make of that. I know I watch basically every superhero show on television, but TBH, I didn’t really have any plans to watch Legion. A show about Professor X’s abandoned son who thinks he’s schizophrenic? Eh, no. Not my thing. Still, I figured I’d check out the trailer at least, and now that I have, I feel like I should at least check out the pilot. I like the cinematography, anyway, and it certainly looks . . . interesting . . . although I do find Dan Stevens’s American accent a bit grating.

So, yeah, I’ll probably try it. It could be entertaining, but if the whole show is about Am I Crazy/Am I Not? Yeah, I’ll probably fall out of it pretty fast.

The Flash (Season 3)

So, now we know what Barry did to the timeline.

Is it wrong that I’m still hoping this is all resolved in two episodes max? This could be temporarily fun, but please, please say we aren’t stuck in Flashpoint all season long. RESURRECT THE HARRY AND CISCO SHOW. Cause, yeah, this isn’t fully doing it for me.

Arrow (Season 5)

Eh. I’m always hot and cold on Arrow, often within the same episode, but this trailer is leaving me pretty much just cold.

I’m not particularly interested in New Team Arrow. Curtis, yes. Curtis can always stay. But that other dude seems annoying, and the girl . . . well, let’s just say that Artemis was my absolute favorite in Young Justice (well, her and Robin, anyway), so I’m far more likely to be critical of her. If they screw up Artemis, I’m going to be deeply  unhappy, and if I’m being honest, I fully expect them to screw up Artemis. (Her background, for instance, is already completely wrong.) Not to mention, I’m not really looking forward to multiple scenes of Oliver screwing up as a superhero mentor and everyone threatening to leave him and blah blah blah. (I just assume.)

I’m still planning to watch, just . . . I don’t know how many more seasons of Arrow I have in me.

Kong: Skull Island

All right, I think we’ve finally gotten past the superhero stuff.

I’ve gotta admit: with a roster like Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, and John Goodman, this certainly has the cast to beat. And I like the general look of the movie. Still, my interest is middling at the moment: a rental, probably, rather than a theater visit. The last Kong movie didn’t do a whole lot for me, and I worry about the predictability factor: right now I’m predicting Goodman dead, Samuel L dead, a bunch of extras/minor characters dead, and Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, and their probable UST alone surviving to tell the tale.

This could be totally wrong, of course–in fact, I hope it is–but if not, I’m already yawning.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

So far, I haven’t been able to muster up much interest in this, despite how much I enjoyed both the Harry Potter books and movies. This trailer, though, is the first thing I’ve seen that makes me think, Okay, maybe I could check this out. On one hand . . . I kind of feel done with the HP universe, like, I love it, I’ll revisit it, I desperately want to go to Universal Studios and visit Diagon Alley–but I also don’t feel a lot of need to see prequels, sequels, side stories, etc. On the other hand, magic in this particular time period is always kind of fun, and I could enjoy this.

Although. I must say that while No-Maj didn’t bother me so much when I first read it . . . it’s kind of jarring to hear it out loud. It just really does not sound like American slang to me at all, and I hope that’s not a consistent problem throughout the film.

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Well, this looks about as ridiculous as you’d expect a Guy Ritchie version of King Arthur to be.

I have no real plans to see this anytime soon, but I’ve got to admit: the trailer with its anachronistic music, super fast action, and 110% Guy Ritchie-ness did make me smile. Of course, I’m not a purist: Arthurian mythology, on the whole, has never done much for me, so I totally don’t care that Guy Ritchie’s probably going to mess it all up. And the cast is sort of fun: along with Charlie Hunnam, Djimon Hounsou, and Evil Jude Law, we also have Littlefinger, Roose Bolton, and Morgana . . . although, sadly, I don’t think Katie McGrath is playing Morgana here. Still, the actual story itself makes me just kinda shrug. I doubt I’ll pay theater prices for the experience.

American Gods

Well, shit. It’d be really helpful if I had Starz, huh?

It’s been quite some time since I re-read it (I’m trying to decide if I want to do it again before the show or not), but I picked up American Gods when I was, oh, 18? And I adored it. I’m so excited to see it come to life as a TV show. This is a pretty promising first look, and I’m very hopeful. I mean, the cast alone . . . damn. There are a ton of great people in it, but I’m just dying over these pictures of Gillian Anderson as Media. SUCH a lady crush right now.

I desperately want this show to be as awesome as it sounds. Please be awesome, show. Please be awesome like I know you can be.

Teen Wolf (Season 6)

Well, my friends. We have our first look at our final season–Teen Wolf is saying goodbye to us with Season 6, and much as I love the show, it’s probably time. Here’s to hoping it can end on a good note. (It’s always so sad when shows can’t.)

It looks pretty cool. I like the idea of a Big Bad that abducts and erases people from all memory. The story is Stiles-centric, which obviously appeals to me. And the Sheriff doesn’t remember him? NOOOOOOO! On the downside, we lost Kira and got Theo in return? BOO. This is not a great trade, in my book.

And finally . . . Dirk Gently

Oh, this looks kind of fun.

I’ll admit, I’m getting a little tired of that one genius detective character who does whatever they want and suffers no ill consequences. Still, this definitely looks offbeat and I think I was pretty much sold when Elijah Wood screamed, “I am NOT your Watson, asshole!” Plus, it looks like there are some interesting side characters (I’m already intrigued by the one kickass black lady near the end of the trailer) and . . . is that Richard Schiff? Hey, it is! YAY!

This trailer doesn’t really jive with what little I remember from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, but it has been more than a decade since I read that book, so who knows. I’m sure I’ll try this one. I’m such a sucker for quirky detectives, although, historically, the weirder they are, the faster they get cancelled. (RIP forever, Terriers, The Unusuals, etc.)

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Clarion West Write-A-Thon: Week 5 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: An Army of Janes
Current Pitch: The opening act of Resident Evil: Afterlife . . . but with less zombies.

Number of Darlings Killed: 2
Number of Thematically Relevant Conversations in the Dark: 2
Author’s Relief to Finally Be Finished With the Second Draft: Extreme

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums” – A Perfect Circle

Goal Met: Yes

Apologies for my general absence from the blog of late. My RL dance card has been a bit full, so to speak, and that may be the case for a little while. On the upside, I successfully finished a draft of my clone story!

Is the draft any good? Not sure yet. I’m happy with some of it, although I think I might still have a little work to do with exposition, specifically which pieces I need to add and which I can just chuck. I’ve actually chucked quite a bit, although there’s definitely some parts that are heavy with the info dump . . . but in a way that I think feels natural with the story. It’s interesting. The more I work on Army of Janes, the more it feels like a small personal story in a much larger world. (Which is kind of funny, because you don’t really think about small personal stories including a lot of covert attacks on government facilities.) I don’t have any immediate plans to revisit that world, but I like to keep my options open. At any rate, I suspect I’m quickly approaching the point where I just can’t look at it anymore and have to send it to my crit buddies before I can do much else.

The thing about this story: I wrote the first draft of it years ago after watching Resident Evil: Afterlife because I was so disappointed by all that movie’s wasted potential, and I wanted to write my own clone story, something that really spent a lot of time talking about identity–because if a clone story is inherently about anything, it’s definitely about identity. There are some explosions and some face-melting and hopefully that’s as fun for (potential) readers as it is for me, but this is mostly a story, I think, about trying to figure out who the hell you are, and whether you have a moral obligation to stay true to yourself at all costs, or if you should try to be the kind of person others need you to be. I feel like these are some decently solid YA themes in that, despite it not actually being a YA story.

In conclusion, your random line of the week:

She’s disconnected again and in no particular hurry to reconnect, sitting in the sub-level with a dead parallel reality at her side and smoke drifting far above her.

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Clarion West Write-A-Thon: Week 4 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: An Army of Janes
Current Pitch: The opening act of Resident Evil: Afterlife . . . but with less zombies.

Number of Notable Fashion Accessories: 2
Number of Robert Frost Mentions: 1
Number of Melted Faces: 1 . . . so far

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Smack My Bitch Up” – The Prodigy

Goal Met: Yes

Progress has been a little slower than I’d like this week–I know, what a shocking turn of events–but it’s still being made. The story begins in medias res, with a dead body and a Big Choice at hand, and then flashes back to see how our protagonist has gotten to that point. It’s an overused TV setup, I know, but I’m fond of it when stories take it somewhere interesting, instead of using it as a way to raise cheap stakes where all danger is immediately averted the second the story catches back up to itself. Hopefully, my execution won’t be guilty of the latter, especially since I’ve just hit that point where flashback meets flash-forward. It’s all revelations and violence from here, my friends.

I’m hoping–though am far from certain–that I can complete a draft of this story by next Friday. If so, I’ll probably let it sit for a week or two before I do a third pass, adding in or tweaking any details that I forgot about and/or skipped (we’ll call this the “Carlie Totally Cares About Mech and Tech in the Future” edit), and also cutting unnecessary words to keep the word count at something manageable for once. And then I can send it to my crit buddies who will helpfully point out all its flaws, and then after I edit it again, I can finally send it somewhere for multiple rejections!

It’s probably for the best I have a job-job, because this whole writer Rich Quick Scheme doesn’t seem to have fully caught up to the “quick” part yet, much less “rich.”

In conclusion, your random Line of the Week:

In her sleep, Impossible Jane always knew how the story would end: it would be cold, and it would be bloody, and she would be alone.

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“Phenomenal Cosmic Powers! Itty Bitty Living Space!”

Time to get back on track with our Disney Princess Movies. Next up:


This is the first time I’ve seen Aladdin in at least twenty years, and I’m relieved to find that I still enjoy it. You know, except for some of that racist shit that I didn’t quite understand when I was seven.

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“My Daughters Are Trained For Battle, Sir, Not The Kitchen.”

So, I’ve read and watched multiple versions of Pride and Prejudice, but–presumably to the horror of Jane Austen enthusiasts everywhere–I have done so in a completely backwards fashion. First, I watched the 2005 film with Keira Knightley, which I liked. Then I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, written by Seth Grahame-Smith (and Jane Austen, sort of), which I also liked. Then I watched BBC’s Pride and Prejudice from 1995, which, to be honest, I was only so-so on. Then I finally read the original Pride and Prejudice, which was quite enjoyable.

And now I have seen the 2015 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

ppz cover1

It may surprise you–being the blasphemous wench that I obviously am–but ultimately, I didn’t care for it.

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Clarion West Write-A-Thon: Week 3 Update

Top Secret Code Name of Current Project: An Army of Janes
Current Pitch: The opening act of Resident Evil: Afterlife . . . but with less zombies.

Number of Clones: 6
Number of Existential Crises: 3
Use of Profanity: Liberal

Song From Current Project Playlist: “Bodies” – Drowning Pool

Goal Met: Yes.

I’m about 1/3 of the way through re-writing an incredibly soft military SF story, which I’m pretty happy with so far. If I can keep up this pace–which, admittedly, is never a certainty with me–I should be able to finish a workable draft by the end of the Write-a-Thon. But I’ve jinxed myself before, so. We’ll see.

I wrote the first draft of this story back in 2012 while I was at a Clarion West, and it seemed to be the favorite of  the greater majority of my classmates, which was nice because I was deeply anxious about it at the time. It took me forever to write (I had to skip Connie Willis’s reading just to finish it, although at least I’d seen her a few weeks earlier at the Locus Awards) and had an awful tendency to just break down into whole solid pages of exposition. Not to mention that, depending on your point of view, the story is either a charming throwback to retro SF or a worthless sham of science fiction with a complete and utter disregard for how cloning technologies actually work. I figure it’s maybe a little bit of both?

I’ve always had a fondness for this story, but I’ve avoided going back to it for years, probably because I didn’t want to deal with all those mountains of exposition. But lately I’ve felt good about returning to it. I’ve been working on a lot of stories with multiple narrators lately, and while–thank Christ–this story only has one, I feel weirdly like I’m more prepared now to deal with it and its half dozen characters who all have enormously complicated relationships with one another. Maybe I’ve just grown as a writer, or something. One can hope, anyway.

In conclusion, your Random Line Of The Week:

Every Jane would become a dead Jane, in the end.

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The 2015-2016 TV Superlatives!

The time has come, my friends. The moment that maybe one person ALL OF YOU have been waiting for: the 2015-2016 TV Superlatives.

Rules are basically the same as last year, with a few little tweaks. To be eligible for these super duper prestigious awards, a show must have begun its season sometime between June 1st, 2015 and May 25th, 2016. This means that the first seasons of shows like Killjoys and Dark Matter (which came out last summer) are actually eligible for this year’s awards, as is the most recent season of Game of Thrones. Shows like Preacher, meanwhile, didn’t begun until after May 25th, so they won’t be eligible until next year. The only other shows outside this timeline that will be considered are shows that were completely unavailable to me prior to June 1st, 2015: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, for example.

I’m gonna be honest with you, guys: I could have done a better job of keeping track of these things over the course of the last year. There’s been a lot of frantic scrambling over the past few weeks to try and remember things like, “Shit, who had good season premieres again? SEPTEMBER WAS SO LONG AGO.” I am dedicated to creating a better system for myself next year. (But I’m pretty sure I said the exact same thing last year, so. We’ll see.)

For those of you who–like me–primarily watch genre shows that never get nominated for shit: well, my friends, these are for you.

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