I had the good fortune of seeing Guillermo Del Toro’s excellent Crimson Peak last week. It’s very good movie with some great chemistry between Loki, Alice, Jax, and the grown-up Murph; stunning set design, and a taut plot that keeps you moving (if not guessing). If I have one complaint, it was that the special effects team tried a little too hard on the ghosts. They were creative and scary, but so stylistic I kind of wish they would have kept them off-screen and stuck to shadows and jump cuts. Still, I think it has the potential to be considered a classic someday, something people still want to see 20 or 50 years later. And I almost missed it, because today’s express-lane movie release schedule had it relegated to one screen a mere three weeks after it opened.
…dude, seriously…have you never heard of Netflix?
My ‘movies I’ll watch someday’ queue approached infinity a long time ago, so if I didn’t catch Crimson Peak in the theater, God knows when I would have finally watched it. And that got me thinking of all the horror movie classics I’ve missed over the years. You can commence mocking my horror creds after the break.
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The Walking Dead resumes on February 8th and I’m hoping the series picks up after a muddled, confusing mid-season finale in which (spoilers ahead) Beth essentially commits suicide-by-cop, the worst-kept secret of the series (that Eugene was a fraud) is finally exposed, and our heroes are left (once again) without a home after Father Dumbass led a horde right back to the church. It’s got to get better from here, right?
I’m a late adopter to Agents of Shield. My original assessment when the series began last year was “eh” but word of mouth about this season, which starts to explore the concepts of the Terrigen Mists and the Inhumans, was enough to make me skip ahead and watch the mid-season finale. I hope to catch up on the rest of the season soon, but will be there when the show commences in March.
…and if you don’t, we’ll be coming for you…
The new season of Game of Thrones begins in April and spring has never seemed further away. I’m looking forward to seeing Dorne and meeting Prince Oberyn’s bastard daughter’s the Sand Snakes. Hoping we get to see Tywin’s funeral. I have a feeling this season we’re going to see a lot more deviation from the books as the show’s writers clean up and combine some of the redundant characters and plot-lines that have begun to crop up in Ser George’s novels at this point in the story.
…blasphemer! The next character I kill will be you!
I think it will be hard to top 2014 for Marvel oriented movies – with the Winter Soldier excellently kicking off Phase 2 of the Marvel Universe, Brian Singer successfully returning to the X-Men with the mind and time bending Days of Future Past (featuring my favorite scene in any movie ever), and even the Amazing Spiderman sequel finding a warm place in my heart. There was also that little movie about a raccoon and his pet tree that set all kinds of records. James Gunn directed a likeable cast of misfits to make Guardians of the Galaxy the highest grossing Marvel movie not called Iron Man 3 or The Avengers.
…we think it’s time to talk spin-off…
And The Avengers sequel is first on my list with The Age of Ultron hitting theaters in May. If the first trailer holds true, it may be that we’re going to have to choose between this being a “Great Movie” or “The Greatest Movie Ever.”
…I’ve already watched this 1,342 times…
The sequel to the surprise success The Woman in Black is an early release, and it looks like it will either be scarier than the original (with a whole houseful of orphans for the lady to feast open) or just plain awful. I might decide to skip it, since the first movie made me scream like a little girl.
…actual footage from the theater surveillance camera…
My summer is going to be busy. After the Age of Ultron, we get to watch the world burn in Mad Max: Fury Road, see how Chris Pratt handle new dinosaurs in Jurassic World, and follow Marvel Studios in a new, humorous, (and risky) direction with Paul Rudd as Ant-Man. Arnie is back in a new Terminator that promises to blow up lots of things, including the concept of time-travel paradox. We also get the long-awaited reboot of the Fantastic Four Franchise, that has gotten almost no press after the uproar that Johnny Storm was going to be played by Michael B Jordan
…because we can believe cosmic radiation gives you super-powers, but no way a black man and white woman can be siblings…
And in December, the first of the installment of the third act of the Star Wars franchise hits. The teaser trailer looked awesome and some of the leaked storylines are intriguing. If Disney can do to the Star Wars brand what it did to Marvel, I damn well might worship The Mouse forever. At a minimum, I hope the new trilogy can clean the taste of George Lucas’ prequels from my mouth.
…really best not to imagine George Lucas actually being in my mouth…
My creepy little piece of Flash Fiction, Mr. Belial, will soon appear in the Winter Edition of Philly Flash Inferno. This will be the second piece I’ve had published (first being “No Fun Joe” in Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey), and I hope it’s a harbinger of a productive year. If I can get the rewrites in, this might be the year The Bridesmaids (and others) make it to the alter.
…dream on, writer boy…
It’s shaping up to be an excellent 2015 Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, featuring workshops by (amongst others) Solomon Jones, Merry Farmer, Judi Fennell, and KnippKnopp Literary Man-Crush Dennis Tafoya. We’ve got the most excellent Cristin O’Keefe (Dr. Mutter’s Marvels) as our Keynote speaker, and the author of the immensely popular Pretty Little Liars series, Sara Shepard, will be delivering our opening remarks. I’ll be running my second installation of the Cards Against Humanity inspired prompt contest “Apples to Writers” on Sunday morning. We’ll see if reigning Queen of all Writers Melanie Atherton Allen can retain her crown.
…I am not amused…
And lots of stuff coming out from Philly area writers. Former Philly Guy (and the Hardest Working Man in Print) Jonathan Maberry will be releasing several new works, including Predator One, Cold,Cold Heart, and a new Middle-Grade horror series called Nightsiders. Dennis Tafoya doesn’t have new work coming out in 2015, but his daughter does. Rachel Tafoya’s debut novel “The Night House” launches in January (today in fact) . Personal PWC Siren Kathryn Craft’s second novel, The Far End of Happy, inspired by actual events in her life, hits the shelves in May, and it promises to be riveting reading.
read it….would this face recommend a bad book?
South Jersey Writers’ Group head honcho Amy Holiday is running a prompted short story challenge. Our friends at Shock Totem are ending their prompt contests and will be moving in exciting new directions. And those lovable lunatics at Grey Matter Press keep pumping out the excellent anthologies and bringing in the accolades. Death’s Realm, featuring work by Hank Schwaeble, Paul Michael Anderson, and John FD Taft among many others, will be out in January.
read it…would this face recommend a bad book?
So all in all, a very busy year. I might even have twenty minutes to fit in some writing!