Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fan Fiction & Art

Do you read fan fiction? If so, comment below and tell me what you think of it. I tend to be a purist and I think I would just be annoyed by it, so I've never read any. Fan fiction, on first glance, seems to be one of two things. Either it's an homage without any intent to publish, or it's an amateur's attempt to ride the coattails of someone else's success as a way of breaking into writing. Either way, I just don't find myself interested. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Retraction of Sorts: Sorry, Jeremy

Tonight we watched "The Bourne Legacy" on Blu-Ray. I am embarrassed to have to do this, but... I admit I may have been too hard on this movie when I first saw it last August.

This time around, I watched it without high expectations, and I tried to allow it to be its own movie and not an extension of the original Bourne trilogy, and I liked it much better.  Renner's not bad, and though I would have liked less talking, it wasn't quite as "blah" as I thought it was the first time.

This makes me wonder about critiques in general. How much do my moods or emotions or expectations affect what I think about my entertainment choices? I tend to be critical, but maybe some of that is worse during certain high-emotion times in life, while at other times I'm more forgiving of a movie or book or TV show's weaknesses...

A topic for a future blog post, perhaps?

Anyway, here's my original review, and I have to disagree with my past self, having giving "Legacy" a second look. There are still certain inexplicable plot points-- seriously, would the entire police force in Manila really mobilize when the U.S. government faxed them the photos of the two fugitives? They seemed to have every cop in the country on their tails, and how in the heck did they find them in that crowded, crazy city?

But it is decent cinematic entertainment, and I feel I should retract my harsh criticism of Renner's performance. I thought he wasn't so bad this time. And overall, I enjoyed the movie a lot more this time, which was unexpected. So, Jeremy, I'm sorry. It wasn't a blah movie after all.

Book Review: A Killer in the Wind

I first became aware of author Andrew Klavan when I randomly chose his "Homelanders" series from the YA section of the library for my teenage son. He loved those books, so when I saw "A Killer in the Wind" on the new adult fiction shelves, I thought it might be one both my son and I would enjoy.

The story is compelling, and the character of Dan Champion is likeable, honest, courageous and moral, and just crazy enough to be sympathetic. The story centers on Champion's years-long hunt for the kingpin of a large child sex slave and torture/murder business. This is not subject matter I would want to pass on to my teenage son, however, so I'm glad I read it first.

Klavan's writing style is direct, honest and clear, and he managed the subject material well, walking that fine line of facing the brutality of the crimes while avoiding being too graphic about children kidnapped, locked up and sold to perverts. I appreciate the balance. I was nervous as I realized that was what the book was about, but it wasn't horrifying like it could have been.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Making Changes

I'm going to try and make a new banner for this blog. I have had some struggles getting Blogger to do what I want, in large part because I don't have a good banner to begin with... so pardon the boring-ness while I work on something. It might take me a few weeks to hammer out what I want... In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Three Times Back to the Future

Did you read my post about "Back to the Future" parts 1 and 2? Tonight we finally finished up the trilogy. I realized I had, in fact seen the third movie, many, many years ago. (Decades, really, but who's counting?) I didn't remember much about the plot, but I did remember Mary Steenburgen grossing me out by kissing (and falling quickly in love with) Christopher Lloyd's Doc Brown, and I remembered something about horses pulling the Deloreon and the train pushing it back to the future (ahem), and a few other tidbits, but not details.

This is a better pic than the movie poster, I think.

Friday, January 11, 2013

At the End of "The Wheel of Time" (no spoilers)

I don't even know where to begin. I put down my book and felt... speechless. In a good way.

I have loved these people and these books for 15 years. Last January, I started re-reading "The Eye of the World", and was surprised by how much it felt like visiting good friends I hadn't seen in years. Now, all these months later, having finished "A Memory of Light", I am left feeling satisfied, enriched and... oddly, refreshed. (Maybe from all that crying!)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Back to the Future

Sequels, deservedly, have a bad reputation. Although you can cite second and even third films that were as good as (or, rarely, better than) the original "first" movie, in general they stink. Many sequels are an obvious money-grubbing attempt to ride the coattails of a decent movie and rake in as much money as possible before people tire or burn out on a franchise. One such was our Sunday evening family movie.

I Think I Know How It Ends

I don't usually voice my predictions. I don't like being wrong, especially publicly. But I think I know how Robert Jordan/Brandon Sanderson will end "The Wheel of Time". Not scene-wise, but the actual last bit of the book...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

And the Target Demographic Is...

Wait a minute, wait a minute!  

I just realized something. You know how most TV programming, movies and advertising is aimed at the so-called "Target Demographic (or Audience)" which is something like people ages 15-25? You don't know that? Well, it is. This is why so much of what's out there for entertainment doesn't appeal to the older crowd. Some does, but a lot is just... garbage. In fact, I'm thinking that most entertainment producers picture their target audiences as being made up of high-school-mentality boys with dirty jokes as the highlight of their humor portfolio.
Photo from

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

WOT Worries Me...

In less than a week, the long-long-looooong awaited release of "A Memory of Light" will be here. And I'm nervous. Tickly-stomach nervous. I've been reading the "Wheel of Time" (or WOT) books for 15 years, since my brother introduced them to me in 1997, and now they are finally, at long last, coming to a close. 

And the Winner IS...

Thanks to everyone who began following both this blog and the new Film Critics Daughter Facebook Page during December. I adore my followers. In an unabashedly obvious effort to increase my followship, I am giving away two random ThinkGeek gifts of awesomeness today! 

It's a Major Award!

Names were drawn randomly, without peeking, by my daughter. 

The winner of the Second Prize: 

Sheryl R. 

And the winner of the First Prize: 

Stephanie P.

Congrats to the winners, and keep following! I will do another drawing in the future. I have some fun ideas for future giveaways, so stay tuned!

Prizes will be delivered post-haste- Stephanie, I will need your address, which you can PM me on Facebook. Sheryl, since you live around the corner, I will have yours delivered by "courier" shortly.