Wednesday, 6 September 2017

September Already!

Hi guys

Just a quick update on what I've been doing writing wise.

Sadly not a lot as I've been busy procrastinating again!

Have started a Harry Potter fan fiction story but done little else.

I've also not read as much as I have wanted and still reading Helen Cadburys To Catch A Rabbit.  This has taken me longer than I thought although I am enjoying it a lot.

I've also to catch up reading my magazines including Writing Magazine, SFX,  and Sci Fi Now.

I haven't even watched much television so that's not to blame either.  Currently watching Marvels Jessica Jones then moving to Daredevil.

The reasons why I've not written or read?

Been too tired mainly plus . ....

Watching Booktubes on YouTube.

These are videos of people reading books, opening presents of books discussing which books are on their TBR pile and book reviews.

They have me hooked especially Matt reviews Books and Lissa Loves Books and Kitty G plus many more.
Search them on YouTube if your interested.

Although need to get on reading my own books and writing and you never know they might review one book I've written in the future?

Fingers crossed.

Up next  -  Review of a three fantasy book talk from last week which included authors RJ Barker, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Genevieve Cogman.

See you soon peeps

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Spider-Man - Homecoming - Film Review

Hi guys

Here's a quick belated review of Spider-Man- Homecoming which I actually saw about 3 weeks ago on holiday in Cleethorpes with my daughter.  Sadly been a bit busy and lazy.

Spider-Man is probably my favourite superhero of all time.  I grew up with him in comics and cartoons and he was of a similar age to me.

So now this is the third incarnation of the character in just over 10 years which do I think is better?
Well the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man will always have a place in my heart as he was the first on the big screen.  I even liked the third film in that trilogy.
I was gutted when a forth film was cancelled and I even had an idea which included Lizard and Kraven the Hunter and ended with the Venom sample from the third film being knocked on floor where it spawns a red version which sets up Carnage for the fifth and final film which would have had a lot of deaths and been a huge fight film.

But I digress then came The Amazing Spider-Man films which didn't live up to the Amazing part and it was too soon to do the origin story again.  Andrew Garfield was good in the role though Sony messed them up.

Which brings us now to the new Tom Holland version of Spider-Man/ Parker in the Sony/Marvel shared universe.  He premiered in Captain America Civil War and was great from the start.  I loved Tom Holland's version from the off as a younger quirky unsure person which translates to this new film.

It is also great having Spider-Man engaging with other MCU heroes and the film starts with the geeky Parker filming himself with the Avengers at the airport fight then flying home with Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) who tells him that he'll be in touch if needed and he can keep the suit he designed him instead of the rubbish one Peter made.

The film also ties in with the first Avengers film as a prologue shows the aftermath of the New York battle with Loki and his alien pals and the clean up crew being sacked.  They take what alien technology they can and their leader Adrian Toomes does this to sell alien weapons.  He dons a flying suit and becomes Vulture.
Micheal Keaton is great as the Vulture and one of my all time favourite actors and his character isn't truly evil.

The film has some great action set pieces as Peter struggles with his school life and his crime fighting ways as Spider-Man in which he is still getting used to his role.  He also has help from his best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) who spots him on his ceiling and their geeky banter is fun.

The rest of the cast are great including his hot Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and Peters love interest Liz (Laura Harrier).
As well as Robert Downey Jr reprising his role as Tony Stark/Iron Man his bodyguard from Iron Man 1 and 2 Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau) returns to keep an eye on Peter.

The film also has a link with the Deadpool movie by way of Ferris Bueller as Spiderman runs through loads of back gardens when no where to swing from and one house has the film on as he runs past.

There are some hilarious set pieces too including his new suit which has an on-board computer installed which I wasn't keen on at first as seemed like an Iron Man suit although makes sense because a fifteen year old wouldn't be able to make such a suit like in the previous films.

Overall   -  This has taken over as my favourite Spider-Man film and Tom Holland's naive performance as a quirky teen Peter Parker had already won me over in Civil War but is even better here as shows his vulnerable side.
Can't wait to see more of Spider-Man!

Bels Score    -  7/10  the talky bits bored her

My Score     -    10/10   the best Spider-Man and Marvel film to date

Monday, 14 August 2017

August Update - Writing again !

Hi folks

Hope your ok and still there?  I know I need to blog and write more often to keep the followers and build more.
Like I've said in a previous post I've had a lull and not written in ages.

But now I'm back - Writing again and enjoying it.  Although not working on the ghost story I started.  I thought to get my creative juices going I would write Fan fiction as I've had a Harry Potter story in my head for a while.
So I'm writing that.  It may be just the beginning or the whole thing I'm not sure yet.

What makes this difficult is that I've only read first book Philosopher Stone and just seen the films.  Not to mention the play sequel.
So my continuity may not be great but it just a writing practise and fun to do.
I really need to read the rest - soon - although got a large tbr pile..
 Hope JK Rowling doesn't take offence.

So as well as writing I will be back blogging more as I'm behind on a few things that took place this year and last year.

So upcoming in no particular order -

  • Spider-Man- Homecoming review.
  • Tribute to the great Helen Cadbury who sadly passed away last month but had the pleasure of meeting her twice.
  • Review of Helen's novel To catch a Rabbit.
  • Review of the Orenda books road show from earlier this year - very belated.
  • Review of last year's excellent Peter F Hamilton and Alistair Reynolds sci fi talk - even more belated.
  • Plus writing news and updates and competition news.

Hope you all enjoy.

See ya soon x

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Captain Underpants - The first epic movie - Film Review

Took Bel to see the new Dreamworks movie Captain Underpants in Cleethorpes as the weather is like winter.

Also my inner child secretly wanted to watch it too.  Based on the children's books by Dav Pilkey who's books I've seen about and wanted to read but too old .

It follows two school kids George(Kevin Hart) and Harold (Thomas Middleditch) who are two pranksters at school but also create their own comics in their tree house including Captain Underpants.
This is thought was good as shows young kids it's fun to be creative. 

They are forever in trouble at school and sent to Principle Krupp office.  On this occasion he threatens to separate them in class which they believe will end their friendship  (even though they live next door to each other.)

As a last resort they use a hypno ring from a cereal box and it actually works.  As the Principal looks like Captain Underpants they make him believe that's who he is.

From here there is more fun and toilet humour and Captain Underpants is a great parody of Superheros. 

The animation and voice cast are great and the movie blasts along at great speed like a huge long fart.

Overall - A great first movie and if the get the story right then a sequel won't be pants.
Take you kids and inner kids to see this.

Bels Score      -   10/10

My score        -   10/10

Monday, 24 July 2017

Book Review - Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist

This is the sequel to Raymond E Feist's excellent Magician and book two of The Riftwar Saga.

Set a year after the initial invasion by the Tsuranni the world of Midkemia has been at peace.
King Lyam and his brother Arutha now the Lord of Krondor has sailed around the Kingdom and now back for Aruthas marriage to Princess Anita. 

On his arrival to the city and assassination attempt on Arutha life is thwarted by Jimmy the Hand the best thief in the Mockers Guild and who briefly appeared in Magician helping the Prince.

A second attempt on Prince Aruthas life on his wedding is again stopped by Jimmy but Princess Anita is hit by a poisoned arrow. 

The now powerful magician Pug the main character in the previous novel puts a spell on Anita to slow time for her as the poison will kill her.

The Prince, Jimmy, Pug and another small group find out the cure is from the Silverthorn plant which is found in only one spot in the Northlands which is home to the dark Mordhel and a new enemy wanting the death of Arutha and the destruction of the Kingdom.

I loved Magician which I wish I had read when I first got it twenty years ago and the same is said for this.
In fact I enjoyed Silverthorn more as I already knew the main characters and the World(s) they inhabit.

Whereas second books can sometimes lag this had more action and more enemies including undead Mordhel and humans and giant magical beasts.

The characters are again well rounded including minor ones and Jimmy is now a main character which at first wasn't keen on but he's one of the better ones.

Again the other world of Kelewan is visited by Pug  who manages to open a portal there to find out which dark forces are responsible. 

Overall   -  more action, more monsters a quicker lighter read with characters you love. Can't wait to read the third novel A Darkness at Sethanon. 

Score     -   10/10

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Writing Mojo/Group or writing is a lonely game

Hi guys

Well it's been a long time since I've actually written a post on writing .

This is mostly because in recent months I've hit a slump and probably a depression so not done half as much as I should including writing and gym.

Anyway starting to feel like the old me again and after attending Monday's Cleckheaton Writers Group it has me fired up again.
Was great to catch up with them and hear their WIP.

Even though I haven't written for nearly a year.  I started a ghost story last August.  I will be back on full cylinders as I've still had some great ideas.

Luckily still been reading as you'll have seen my book and film reviews here.  Soon will be reviewing Silverthorn by Raymond E Feist.
Have also been buying Writing Magazine but not reading fully so to catch up with those too.

To get my creative juices flowing I will be writing a few bits of fan fiction.  I've a few set pieces which have played in my mind for a few months so will write those after Cleethorpes next week.  They may not be full stories just a chapter or two which I thought would be good.
They are set in two of the biggest franchises going - can you guess which ones?

Anyway will chat later guys -  will leave you with a pic of me back writing x

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Transformers 5 - The Last Knight - Film Review

Went to see the fifth instalment of the unpredictable Transformers Franchise again directed by Micheal Bay.

So far for me the best of the franchise have been Transformers 1 and 4 and that stands.
Although this is watchable like the second in the series it's all over the place and sometimes didn't make much sense.
Spoilers -
In this film it goes back to the Time of King Arthur who is losing a battle.  His magician Merlin knows of Transformers who have crashed and given a staff of power which only his line can use.  Also the guardian Transformers agree to help and merge into a three headed Dragon.

Switch to modern times and Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen)  is still lost floating in space sending a call to the Transformers creators.
Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) is wanted by a Transformers killing unit and hiding out with the remaining Autobots including Hound (John Goodman) and Bumblebee.
He comes across a Guardian ship whereby the pilot gives him an amulet that means he's the last Knight and has to defend the last line of Merlin.

You still with me?  Told you it's a convoluted plot.

Then we go to England where Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins) and his Transformer butler Cogsworth are guarding the secrets of the round table and looking after Vivian Wembley (Laura Haddock) the last Merlin family member.
The Autobot Hotrod is also helping them.

As this is going on Optimus Prime finds Quintessa (Gemma Chan) who is the Transformers creator and means to take a dying Cybertron to earth to mend Cybertron with Earths energy as Earth is really Unicron - Cybertrons sister planet.  She takes over Optimus and makes him evil and to find the staff of Merlin.

Add to all this a girl with a cute robot and the return of Megatron somehow.

The film is a mix bag and jumps from location to location although it does have some great action set pieces but the ending is a mess with too much going on.  Plus there isn't much of Optimus.

The best and funniest parts are with Anthony Hopkins slightly mad Sir Edmond and his robot servant Cogsworth who's trying not to be a psychotic killer.

The film as a whole is watchable just sometimes doesn't make sense.  The main bug bear is Megatron coming back as he was killed in the third film and in the forth a new Transformer Galvatron was made with Megatrons head.
I'm guessing inbetween the movies he works to making himself into his former image though wish they would mention it.

There is also a quite good Suicide Squad nod when Megatron is requesting the humans release some of his Decepticons.
Also there is more of a connection to previous films with Josh Duhamel reprising his role as Colonel William Lennox and photos of previous characters.

Overall  -  good acting and special effects just the story gets tied up in a knot and there is too much going on.  Plus the final battle is a mess.  Worth a watch. Just.

Score   -   7/10