Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Tried Not to Do It...

I couldn't deny it anymore as I typed the words Vernon's Peak. My next book is taking me back to my hometown. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I was hoping my imagination take me to somewhere new like it did when it took me to the city of Mayfield ruled by brooding, pompous and privileged brats. Well now, I'm bringing the brooding, pompous and privileged brats to Vernon's Peak because things can be so much more sinister in a small town. Everyone knows each others business, and murder can cause more than just a ripple. That's a really good tagline...copyright!

By returning back to my hometown, this means that I can fulfill promises to people that wanted to be a character. Sorry, all of the big parts are already taken...

Well anyways, here is a small part of a flashback scene that I finished up the other night.

There she had been, standing between the Bubblicious gum and M&M’s in the smoky atmosphere of Rigney’s gas station. I had choked on my ICEE while I admired her beauty. Her name was a complete mystery to me. Her blue eyes sparkled like diamonds as she brushed the black strands of hair out of her face. I watched her body move as she leaned forward to pick out a pack of gum. Her skin was caramel colored. I scanned every perfect inch of her body that was exposed. She had worn very little fabric on that hot summer night.

“She’s absolutely gorgeous,” I whispered to Thatcher.

“Oh, cool.” He didn’t notice her as he filled his cup with cherry ICEE. “What’s her name?”



Who is this mystery girl?

The secret is, she is an actual girl I know...

The million dollar question is...what is her name?*

*A million dollars will not be disbursed if you try to identify her name and guess correctly

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Nothing can ever be normal with my family...this particularly includes holidays.

Thanksgiving started in the early hours before the Sun even began to rise. My mother had gone over to my house with her husband Frankie to use the oven to cook the ham since she was going to have the oven full with dressing at her house. Well, all went smoothly until it came time to leave. She walked down the front steps and snap, crackle and pop! She stepped in a "hole" and broke her ankle. Supposedly she had rolled all over the ground screaming and hollering in agony and despair. I was not there to witness this, but the neighbors did call in to report a murder at my house...just kidding.

She was quickly taken to the ER by Frankie, and she had her ankle wrapped up while she received a dose of some "happy pill". She was so chipper and giggly when she called to tell me what had happened. When she called my sister she told her that she had to go see Dr. Marvel in Quitman and that he was "Marv-e-lous." She said that in the most sing-songy voice that she could. Believe me, this is totally out of character for her when it comes to situations of pain. Just ask my brother-in-law who wheeled her around in a wheelchair all over the Magic Kingdom when she had a few foot blisters.

So, with none of the Thanksgiving food prepared...things became desperate. Mother gave orders from the living room as Frankie and I tried our best to make mashed potatoes and deviled eggs. Thankfully, my sister came to the rescue and prepared the rest of the food while I entertained my nieces. Problem is that Frankie took his time to de-skin and de-bone the chicken for the dressing, and Kim forgot to put it in the dressing! Afterwards, I went over to my aunt's house for her annual Thanksgiving shindig. It was there that I discovered the beauty and tasty delight of "dog vomit." Mmmmmmm! It is pretty much a sausage ball smeared on rye bread...just in case you thought I really ate doggy chunks.

Believe me, that's not the only crazy stuff that has gone on today...but every family has to keep some of its secrets...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Popcorn Worthy? - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

READER BEWARE: Opinions Are Expressed Below

Ever since Harry Potter movies started to hit the silver screen, my sister Kimberly and I have had the long running tradition to go see them all together. We even had the tradition to go the midnight book releases as well. Along the way, my brother-in-law Brandon and niece Halie have been added to the tradition of going to see the movies.

Well tonight, we all reflected as the credits rolled how hopeless, dark, touching and magical the penultimate Harry Potter installment is. I am not going to lie, this movie does not offer a single shred of hope. Part 1 is purely a transitional film filled with dread, gloom and pure evil. One can't help but be depressed and deeply touched when the movie is over.

Following as close to the novel as any movie could, Part 1 still veered off from the original text. Hedwig was more heroic, Dobby appeared where he wasn't supposed to (but I'm not complaining about that), and a character was even spared his impending death! I'm curious to see what direction they will be taking that character now. There were other minor details no big deal.

Director David Yates has only improved since his Harry Potter debut on Order of the Phoenix, and I'm glad that the best has been saved for last. Character development is a critical issue in this installment, and it is played out well by all of the actors...old and new. I can't describe this development, but there were just these little moments shared between characters that were deeply touching. However, David Yates should really learn how to film a scene concentrating on two characters in movement. I could have sworn I was watching Cloverfield when the camera was severely shaky.

The musical score for Part 1 wasn't bad, but it wasn't phenomenal. The spirit John Williams and Nicholas Hooper pumped into the music was not be felt. Don't get me wrong, I still think Alexandre Desplat did a good job. However, I really liked the Fever Ray song in the Red Riding Hood trailer before the movie started much more than anything in the actual movie.

Three more points of interest for people with young ones. Firstly, the snake scenes are scary for small children. Secondly, Harry and Hermoine have a practically nude make out scene. Necessary? Nope... Lastly, the ending was AMAZING! The movie couldn't have ended any better. It fit the prevailing mood completely.

4.7 Popcorn Kernels Out Of 5 (gloomy, sad, touching, character development, lacking powerful music, I could have sat through Part 2)

Photo courtesy of Google

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Fad That Should Die: 3-D Movies

READER BEWARE: Opinions Are Expressed Below

This is the beginning of a new series where I just complain about fads that should just crash and burn. Will my complaints evoke any changes? Nope. There are enough mindless drones out there to keep useless things alive.

Well anyways...I would like to start off with 3-D movies.

I'm not the only one in the world that knows that 3-D movies are a complete waste of money and effort. I should not have to pay extra every time for the 3-D glasses (shown above) when I have about nine 3-D glasses at home. Yes, you are supposed to recycle the glasses when you leave the theater BUT just think how much money you would save if you just kept the one pair you already purchased and use them for every other 3-D movie you watch. If you did that it would also be more environmentally friendly and more economically friendly for everybody.

I'm sure the extra charge also compensates for the amount of money it takes to convert a movie to 3-D and other expenses that I can not possibly fathom. That's why I say it's all a waste of effort. Making a movie 3-D adds no true value to a movie. A movie should be great and effective in 2-D, and not rely on 3-D technology. Christopher Nolan knows this for a fact...hence Inception and the upcoming The Dark Knight Rises strictly being in 2-D. Thankfully Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 dodged the 3-D bullet (only due to time constraints). Sadly, the 3-D gun is being re-loaded and is aimed straight at HPATDH: Part 2.

So who do I blame for the sudden resurgence in 3-D movies? That's easy...Avatar and James Cameron. Upon reflection...Avatar is the biggest ripoff that had everyone fooled. When the 3-D magic is stripped away, all that remains is the storyline that has already been told in Pocahontas and Ferngully.

Now for the biggest charge yet...3-D movies are not truly a 3-D whimsical. Sure, there is a certain layer of depth added to a movie, but things are not popping out of the screen. I don't want to look at a screen and be like, "Wow...there are layers." I want to look at a screen and be like, "Holy crap! His hand reached out into the audience, and I could have sworn that pie almost hit me in the face!"

That just doesn't happen...I guess my expectations are set too high. Actually, they are high for a reason. Disney World and Universal Studios have 3-D and 4-D experiences that must be seen to be believed (cough...cough...Terminator, Muppets, Mickey's Philharmagic, etc).

3-D movies have been sent to their grave once before. Let them be sent to the grave once again sometime in the near future...along with 3-D televisions.

Photo Courtesy of Google

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Retrospect: The Faded Glitz and Glamour - The Men

Not too long ago, I went over some of Hollywood's classiest actresses. Now I would like to go over Hollywood's most dashing and charming actors that rounded out the Hollywood fairytale.

Let me introduce (or reintroduce) you to The Hollywood Man that once was:

William Holden

John Wayne
James StewartJack LemmonHumphrey BogartRobert RedfordPaul NewmanMarlon BrandoGregory PeckJames DeanWarren BeattyCary GrantGene Kelly

Photos courtesy of Google