February 27, 2017

February Creative Corner

February Creative Corner

The end of February has arrived, and with it the time for another Creative Corner. February has been a short but busy month for me, but I did get a few things done.

Like my steampunk Doctor Who drawing. I'm pleased with how it came out, though the inking processes didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked. This was a fun project to work on.


Last week, I went to an exhibit preview of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. She created all this strange but beautiful art using polka dots, fabric, and mirrors. I created this piece of artwork, made with acrylics, inspired by that.

Sorry the paper came out pink. I guess because the painting was blue.

Here's a few pictures of the exhibit, if you were curious.





And lastly I designed this evening gown, inspired by the dresses worn to Trump's inauguration. I've always loved drawing designs, with fancy dresses being my favorite.


Let's talk! What have you created this month? Has your month been busy? Tell me in the comments.

February 23, 2017

February End of the Month Book Reviews

February End of the Month Book Reviews

It's that time of the month again. Book round-up time! I just know you've been waiting on the edge of your seat since last month to see what deep and exciting thoughts I have about the books I've read since the last post. (Just kidding. Probably.) Anyway, let's get the reviews.


Best Books


The Toymaker's Apprentice- Sherri L. Smith

My Rating: 5 stars

What I Liked:
• The plot. It was well laid out and even if this book was kind of big, it kept me turning the pages. It also had consistent back and forth chapters between the humans and the animals. I like when you know what POV to expect in the next chapter.
• The world. It was set in Germany and included all sorts of talking animals like mice, rats, and squirrels. The world reminded me of a Disney movie, but for older kids. It would also fall under clockpunk to me as it includes lots of clocks and clockwork.
• The characters. Stefan, the main character, was easy to relate to, the rat tutor was fun, and the Mouse King was interesting, as each of his heads had a different personality.
• It was a re-telling of "The Nutcracker". And not the ballet either. The original story the ballet was based off of. I read that one once, and when I read this book it brought those memories back.
• Morals. Each side in the fight had to do things that weren't exactly good. The mice, who were the bad guys, certainly did the worst things, but Stefan and his uncle didn't do the best things all the time either. It was nice that everything wasn't black and white.

What I Didn't Like:
Nothing. That's why this book got five stars.


Charmed, I'm Sure- Sarah Darer Littman

My Rating: 4 stars

What I Liked:
• The main character, Rosie. She's the daughter of Snow White and her prince, and throughout the story she's trying to figure out how to be her. She has a great negative character arc, not something you find a lot in a middle grade novel, and in the end, she learns to be herself.
• Theme. The theme was you are beautiful the way you are. I think it's an important message for all girls to learn.
• Fairy tale characters in New York City. While modern fairy tales is common, I've never read one set in New York. Rosie even goes to school with other fairy tale legends' kids.

What I Didn't Like:
• Rosie's mom. She grated on me. But I think that's more of a personal thing.
• Fairy tale characters in New York City. The thing I didn't like about this aspect was that it didn't explain how they got there. And if Snow White and her prince married when bows were still in use, how old are they and how do they still look young? It didn't answer enough of my questions, so the worldbuilding left me unsatisfied.

Worst Books


Lucky- Rachel Vail

My Rating: 2 1/2 stars

What I Liked:
• Um, the cover. That dress is gorgeous. But that was about the only thing I liked about this book.

What I Didn't Like:
• Phoebe, the protagonist. She was a whiny, spoiled brat. This whole story is based around her not getting a middle school graduation party and the dress she wanted. How shallow is that?
• The characters were in middle school. This was shelved as a YA book in my library. So why the middle school characters?
• Every character in this book. All the girls Phoebe hangs out with are just as shallow and act twice their age. I felt like reaching into the book and slapping them.
• The whole plot. As I said, it revolves around her family falling on hard times. That I could understand, if it weren't for the fact that her family is one of those rich ones that lives in a community. For them, falling on hard times means they can't blow a thousand dollars on a middle school party, keep a housekeeper, or buy Phoebe a Vera Wang dress. I just can't relate. In the end, Phoebe gets everything she wanted, and doesn't really learn anything. This book annoyed me so much.


Everland- Wendy Spinale

My Rating: 3 1/2 stars

What I Liked:
• The re-telling of Peter Pan. It took the original and used it as a jumping-off point to create a whole new story. The names give clues to fans of the original as to who is who. I'm glad she didn't simply repeat Peter Pan's plot in a different setting.
• Page turner. The plot is high action, though with enough calm scenes to balance it out. The ending especially made me keep turning the pages.
• Bella. She was supposed to be Tinker Bell, except she was much spunkier. And she had these awesome steampunk wings that enabled her to fly. No clue how they worked, though I would have liked to. I want a pair.
• The Lost Boys. There were about a hundred of them, and though you don't know them all, they were cute in the scenes they were in.
• Gwen's name. Gwen Darling. You don't see a lot of characters named Gwen, and it was a nice play off of Wendy.

What I Didn't Like:
• Gwen and Pete. Not that I didn't like them together. I just didn't like their characters very much. Gwen was okay, but not stellar. And Pete was Peter. No offense, but I never liked him in the original story. Too finicky and self-centered.
• The worldbuilding. This book was supposed to be a steampunk Peter Pan, I think. Instead, it came off feeling more dystopian. There were zeppelins, guns, and Bella's wings, but other than that, not much.
• The plot. The whole series of events leading up to the story and the story itself felt slightly unbelievable. And Gwen was conveniently the only person immune to the virus in the whole of Everland (what used to be London). Her blood is the magic cure to the virus. Cliche, right?
• Hook's chapters. The book alternates between Gwen and Hook (though most of it is Gwen). Every time a Hook chapter came up I almost wanted to skip ahead just to get back to Gwen. I think the author wanted you to feel sympathy for Hook. I didn't. He annoyed me. And I couldn't get into his head like I could Gwen's. (Both are told in first person.)

Not to say this was a bad book, exactly. I had some problems with it, but it was a fun story to read and I do suggest it for Peter Pan fans.

Notable Mentions


Red Queen- Victoria Aveyard

I've heard about this book for a while, and finally got around to reading it. How could I resist with a cover like that? It was good, but had some problems.

Good Stuff:
• The powers. Loved them. Superpowers and dystopian? It can't get much better than that. Unless it's fantasy, because fantasy is always better.
• No chosen one! Mare turns out to be one of many Reds like her. I was so happy to see this.
• Worldbuilding. It was quite well done, and the society well thought out.

Bad Stuff:
• Mare annoyed me. She was arrogant, impulsive, and headstrong, but none of those in a good way. Maybe I would have felt the same in her place, but it still made me roll my eyes sometimes.
• The plot was a big jumble of lots of many plots. Some Hunger Games, some Divergent, a splash of The Selection. She could have put some more effort into it.
• Every boy in the book, except her brothers, were in love with her. Cal, Maven, and Kilorn. That annoyed me almost more than a love triangle.
• The big twist didn't surprise me. I'd heard there was a big surprise at the end, but when it came up, I was disappointed because I wasn't shocked. It just seemed to make sense. Though, when they were all yelling at Maven about how he betrayed them, this was the line running through my head.


My biggest problem was that I came into this book expecting a high paced dystopian novel, something like Divergent. Instead, it turned out to be more of a political drama. If I had known that from the beginning, I would have looked at this book differently. That said, I liked it somewhat, and will continue the series keeping what I've learned in mind.


A Study in Charlotte- Brittany Cavallaro

As you know, I love Sherlock Holmes re-tellings. This one did not disappoint, mostly. My three big problems were:
1) Lots of drug use. Charlotte uses drugs, and that makes me sad. Just because Sherlock did, did Charlotte have to as well?
2) They dissed the original stories. How dare you disrespect the originals? Maybe they weren't 100% realistic, but do you have to point it out?
and 3) Cussing. So much cussing. (Hint: it doesn't make you sound grown up. More like childish.) This quote accurately describes me the whole book.

Also, isn't this like the best part of the movie?

Other than that, I loved it. I totally adore Charlotte+Jamie. Her commentary on the end made the book, as did Jamie's dad's guide to caring for Holmes. Why hasn't anyone thought of that before? You have to read this book.

Other Books Read

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency- Douglas Adames- 3 2/3 stars
The Bronze Key- Holly Black and Cassandra Clare- 4 stars
The Burning Tide- Jonathan Auxier- 4 stars
The Looking Glass Wars- Frank Beddor- 4 stars
iPhone Millionaire: How to Create and Sell Cutting-Edge Video- Michael Rosenblum- 3 stars
Cryptid Hunters- Roland Smith- 4 stars
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear- Elizabeth Gilbert- 3 stars
Tentacles- Roland Smith- 4 stars
A Boy Called Christmas- Matt Haig- 4 stars
House of Many Ways- Dianna Wynn Jones- 4 stars
The Wolf Princess- Cathryn Constable- 3 stars
Etys-preneurship: Everything You Need to Know to Turn Your Homemade Hobby into a Thriving Business- Jason Malinak- 5 stars

Let's talk. What books have you read this month? Have you ever thought a book would be one genre and it turned out different? Tell me in the comments.

February 20, 2017

Writing Spaces for Those With No Space

Writing Spaces for Those With No Space

I'll be the first to admit that I don't have a beautiful writing space like the ones you see on Pinterest. I don't actually have a space devote purely to writing. My desk is used for multiple projects and purposes. I also live in a small house with seven other people, so there's not a lot of space for personal areas.

But I have never let that stop me. I make space for writing in my life and in my small portions of the house. I'm sure there are many other people out there discouraged by their lack of an area solely for their creative writing endeavors. In this post I'm going to show you how to make do with what you have to best eliminate distractions and help you focus on your writing.

(Also, this post was originally called "Writing Spaces for the Spaceless". However, when I looked up spaceless, because the dictionary wasn't accepting it, I found out it actually means infinite or boundless. Not the definition I had in mind. So there's your word definition for the day.)

1. Find a Spot

First, you need to decided where you are going to write. Selecting one or two spots where you always write can help you form a habit of knowing that when you sit in this spot, it's time to write.

Good choices are a desk you may currently have, your bed, a corner with a beanbag, or a special chair. I have a few different spots myself, including my desk, my bedroom floor, and my bed. You need to find the area(s) that will work best for you.

The area you pick should be someplace you can sit a while, or stand if that's your preference. If you're at a desk, make sure you have a chair with good support. If you sit on the floor or your bed, take breaks to stretch your legs and make sure to sit with good posture.

2. Block out Distractions

The spot you pick should also enable you to block out anything that will take your attention off your writing. You need to be focused so that you can get your work done in a shorter amount of time.

Obviously, if you write in your bedroom, you can simply shut and lock the door to keep out family members bearing distractions. You can even put up a sign like "At risk of the death of your favorite character, do not disturb". If you have a desk that's not in a private area, turn it so it faces away from the room. Wear headphones when you're working to discourage people from talking to you.

Other options could include keeping your space clean so you can't be distracted, blocking off your area with a bookshelf or filing cabinet, or making a private corner for yourself. Brainstorm ways to best keep yourself focused, then find ways to apply them.

3. Inspire Yourself

You can't forget inspiration in your space. Proper motivation helps you work better, or it does for me.

Inspiration can come in many forms. Maybe you can hang a bulletin board above your desk with motivational quotes on it. Or have a vision board of your story to set beside you as you work. Wear a hat that you only wear when writing. Find something that when you look at it inspires you to keep going, and keep that in your area.

And don't forget music. Music is one of the best focusing tools there is. Figure out what type you like to listen to while writing, and play it at full blast. (Just make sure to wear headphones if you're in a public room.) Everyone differs in what they genre of music that prefer. Some people can't write with music that has words. Others could never listen to a classical song. Personally, my interest varies depending on my mood. I do know though I can't write while listen to music with words I haven't heard before. It distracts me too much.

Odds and Ends

Here are a few last things you may want for your writing space.

Bring supplies. Making sure you have water, tea, a snack, or whatever you need before you start writing can help keep you at or desk or on the floor, without getting up a million times for a drink. Also bring with you any information (worldbuilding, character interviews, outlines) you may need during your session.

Keep your writing organized, or at least all in one place. That awesome character quirk you can't remember won't be able to help you if you can't find your character questionnaire. If you're not a neat freak like me, make sure it's all in one spot. It saves time later. The same goes for your computer files. Keep them tidy and it will be easier to find the things you need.

• Don't stress if your space is used for more than one purpose. As I said, my desk is used for more than writing. If you have to do the same thing, keep it organized so you can switch what you're doing easily.

Have a set goal for your writing time. This doesn't have so much to do with the area as just making good use of your time. Make sure you know what you're trying to accomplish, like write 1,000 words or edit a chapter, turn off or block out distractions, and get to it.

One last note. Make your writing space work for you. What I do isn't what you need to do. Find what helps you and do that.

Let's talk. What does your writing space look like? Do you have to share space with a lot of people, like me? Tell me in the comments.

February 16, 2017

Writers and Fashion: About the Cliche Looks of Writers

Writers and Fashion: About the Cliche Looks of Writers

Writers are a strange bunch, with many cliches attached. We only write in dark attics with a quill pen at night. (Not true.) We are secretive and spy on people. (Only 50% of the time.) We always hate our writing and think we are the worst authors in history. (Okay, so maybe this is true.)

But there are also many ways we are supposed to dress. In this post, I'm combining fashion and writing to give you outfits writers "supposedly" wear. *Warning: humor and sarcasm ahead*


The "I never leave my pajamas" writer

This is one of the classics. Writers are thought to sit around in their pajamas, staring at their screens, and occasionally typing a few words. That's not (always) true.

To achieve this look, grab your comfiest pajamas. Braid your hair, then completely mess it up to look like you just got out of bed. This, of course, will be the most time consuming step. Bunny slippers and a hoodie are optional accessories. Grab a cup of tea/coffee/hot chocolate and sit with a slightly sleepy expression at your computer to finish the look.

The "incognito" writer

You are the writer that likes to people watch. And by people watch, I mean stand on street corners and study people from behind your shades. In a totally not creepy way.

Wear your normal clothes and put a trench coat, fedora, and sunglasses on top. You're trying to look like a cheap movie spy. Stand on street corners and shadowy places and watch everyone around it. All in the name of writing, of course.


The "dark and serious" writer

This is the writer who sulks around in black, writing thousand page novels with deep themes about humanity. Or maybe you just look this way because you like black. Who can say? (Insert evil laughter here.)


Find several pieces of concealing black clothing. Let your hair fly around your head like you can't be bothered with it, which you can't. You're too busy changing humanity. Give anyone who dares disturb you a baleful look and only sit in the darkest of corners.

The "coffee shop" writer

You're the writer with her cute little laptop typing away in a coffee shop corner, with a cup of joe going cold beside you. Should anyone dare disturb you, you give them a mumbled excuse about writing a novel and hope they don't bother you more.

You'll want to look a bit preppy to pull this one off. An argyle sweater, button-up shirt, or polo work well, with khaki or jeans. Keep your hair back out of your eyes (and your food). Lean forward over your laptop, phone, coffee, with a snack at hand, and act devoted to what you're doing. Even if it's scrolling Facebook.


The "epic nerd" writer

You love movies, books, and video games, and aren't afraid to show it. A room with memorabilia and collectibles is excellent.


For this outfit, you need to wear your nerdiest things. That video game tee shirt? Perfect? A fez and stripped scarf? Great. Full cosplay of your favorite character? Go for it. You can't forget your thick black glasses. And don't be afraid to talk over the top about your nerdom to everyone you meet.

The "attic turret" writer

You need an attic or a turret (preferably both) to pull this one off properly. A thunderstorm is also an excellent accessory. Anyone who dares knock on your door is greeted with your crazy face. Followed by them quickly leaving.

The outfit that works best is something from the 18oo's. If you don't have that, you're oldest clothes will have to do. Covering it with ink is a good touch. Take out your quill pen and wait to write at night, lit only with a single candle.

*  *  *  *

This post was so fun to put together. When I started, I didn't realize how much more I would want to do, so there may be a part two that's even better than part one. Let me know if you have any ideas for a second post.

Let's talk. Which of these writers is totally you? What cliches about writers irk you? Tell me in the comments.

February 13, 2017

Secondary Character Questionnaire

Secondary Character Questionnaire

Secondary characters are tricky. They're fairly important, but at the same time they can't steal the spotlight from the protagonist. They have to be rounded characters with their own goals, but they also need to help the protagonist in some way. And that's not even mentioning all the types of secondary characters there are. Mentors, love interests, antagonists, and more.

Over time, I've come up with my own set of questions to ask secondary characters. They cover most of what you'll need to know about them. I decided to share them with you, and at the end I've even included a printable PDF. (It's my first, so let me know if it works okay.) 

Let's go to the questions. For simplicity, I'm going to use she/her for all the questions. Just change it to he/him if you're using it for a boy. Also, don't forget to write down what role each secondary character plays, just so you can keep track.

Full Name

This is an easy question, but a hard one to answer. Thankfully, there are plenty of baby name sites out there. Just be sure not to use too many of the same letters. You don't want a Roland, Roderick, and Ralph all in one novel.

Nickname

This one is optional, though it can add depth to a character. They can even have more than one nickname if you want.

Occupation

What do they do for a living? Why? You can skip this question if they're still in school.

Appearance

What do they look like? Hair, eyes, face, body. Are they muscular or skinny? How is their posture? Write down everything you need to form a clear picture of your character.

Age

It doesn't take a genius to figure out this one.

Mannerisms

Or, how do they act? Do they twirl their hair, bite their nails, or tap their foot? Are there any actions that make this character memorable?

What does she wear?

Clothes tell a lot about a character. Is she preppy, athletic, or fancy? Does she like heels or flats? Give a list of her normal clothes to get a feel for the character.

Favorite color

Favorite colors are also good for making a character more life-like.

What is she good at?

Horseback riding? Croquet? Art? What are her top three talents?

What is she bad at?

What things couldn't your character do to save her life? Can she not cook without burning down the kitchen? Would she never skydive?

*These next five questions are taken from K. M. Weiland's article "5 Secrets of Complex Supporting Characters". Check out the article if you need more help.*

What does she want?

Outside of helping the protagonist, what does this character want deep down? What does she desire? Love? Family? Confidence?

What is her goal?

What is she trying to get? Secondary character goals can be fun to come up with, especially if they're against the protagonist's goal.

What lie does she believe?

Every character has some Lie they believe at the beginning of the book. Does your character think she's ugly? That bad actions are protecting someone? What is holding her back?

What flaw results from the lie?

The Lie leads to a flaw in the character, something that will change as she goes. Is she not confident? Does she steal?

What truth does she learn?

Finally, your character will learn something as they go through the story. The truth they learn will be the opposite of the lie. What will your character figure out?

What is her background?

This is the best part. Come up with a history for your character. It doesn't have to be super deep, it just needs to give you an idea of their life.

And, as I promised, your PDF! Just click the link and it should take you to Google Drive or Docs. Let me know if it doesn't work.



How do you create your supporting characters? Do you have any questions to add? Let me know in the comments.

February 9, 2017

2017 Movies: Non-Disney Edition

2017 Movies: Non-Disney Edition

Welcome to the second part of my 2017 Movies series. Part one was Disney movies, and today we're looking at various other movies I'm interested in seeing this year. Your list might, and probably is, different, but I'm happy to share what I'm looking forward to. Shall we begin?


The Lego Batman Movie

Release Date: February 10

What It's About: Batman, of course. In this movie, he has to stop Joker from taking over Gotham and learn to get along with others. Which will be the hard part.

Who's In It: Will Arnett as Batman, Zach Galifianakis as the Joker, Rosario Dawson as Barbara Gordon aka Batgirl, Michael Cera as Robin, Ralph Fiennes as Alfred, and Jenny Slate as Harley Quinn. There will probably also be the numerous celebrity voice cameos scattered throughout the film.

My Thoughts: I loved The Lego Movie and I can't wait to see this one. Every trailer and clip has looked hilarious. And if it's anything like it's predecessor, it will also have a solid theme and a few heavy moments to balance the comedy. Batman is already funny, just from the trailers. And I love Batgirl.


Power Rangers

Release Date: March 24

What It's About: Five teenagers discover gems that turn them into heroes called Power Rangers. They must accept the call and protect their home from an evil alien named Rita Repulsa.

Who's In It: Dacre Montogomery as Jason Scott, the Red Ranger, Becky G as Trini, the Yellow Ranger, Naomi Scott as Kimberly, the Pink Ranger, Ludi Lin as Zach, the Black Ranger, RJ Cyler as Billy, the Blue Ranger, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, Bryan Cranston as Zordon, and Bill Hader as Alpha Five.

My Thoughts: I'm a pretty big Power Rangers fan. The thing everyone says about the movie is it looks darker than the TV shows. I think that's because they're making a movie, not a show. But I'll be interested to see how it turns out. Also, their Iron Man type suits look awesome.


The Boss Baby

Release Date: March 31

What It's About: A boy gets a new baby brother, but this isn't a normal baby. This one wears suits and carries a briefcase. He also talks. The two must team up to stop the plot of Puppy Company's evil CEO.

Who's In It: Miles Christopher Bakshi as Tim, the little boy, Alec Baldwin as the baby, Jimmy Kimmel as the father, Lisa Kudrow as the mother, Steve Buscemi as Francis E. Francis, the bad guy, and Tobey Maguire as older Tim, the narrator.

My Thoughts: I know it sounds a bit cheesy, or maybe more than that. But it also sounds hilarious. We'll see which one wins out in the end. I'd like to watch this one at least once.


Smurfs: The Lost Village

Release Date: April 7

What It's About: Smurfette and some of the Smurfs discover a map leading to a mysterious village. They set off to find it and the biggest secret in Smurf history.

Who's In It: Demi Lovato as Smurfette, Joe Manganiello as Hefty, Jack McBrayer as Clumsy, Danny Pudi as Brainy, Julia Roberts as Smurfwillow, and Rainn Wilson as Gargamel.

My Thoughts: It'll be interesting to see what they do with this one. Sony is starting over from scratch, this movie being entirely animated. So far it looks funny, but you can never tell. I liked the ones they made with Neil Patrick Haris, so hopefully they don't ruin this one.


Gifted

Release Date: April 12

What It's About: Frank is raising his niece, a child prodigy. When it comes to light that she's not normal, his mother fights to take the child away.

Who's In It: Christ Evans as Frank, Mckenna Grace as Mary, his niece, Lindsay Duncan as his mother, Octavia Spencer as Roberta, and Jenny Slate as Bonnie.

My Thoughts: I originally watched the trailer because I saw Chris Evans was in it. But the story the trailer told caught my attention. I hope to watch this film and see if it's as good as it looks.


Wonder Woman

Release Date: June 2

What It's About: This is Wonder Woman's origin story, set during the Great War. A plane crashes on the Amazon's island, and Diana decides to leave with him to see the world. She helps in the war and learns who she truly is.

Who's In It: Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, Connie Nielsen as Queen Hippolyta, and Lucy Davis at Etta Candy.

My Thoughts: While Marvel has had the jump on DC in many ways, DC gets ahead with having the first female super hero film. (Captain Marvel, Marvel's first, doesn't come out until 2019.) I'm so excited to finally see Wonder Woman in her own film. I hope it's as great as I think.


Despicable Me 3

Release Date: June 30

What It's About: Gru and the girls are back. This time, he's fighting a villain named Balthazar Bratt, who's obsessed with a character he played in the '80's (does this mean we'll hear some sweet '80's tunes in the soundtrack?). Also, Gru discovers he has a twin brother named Dru.

Who's In It: Steve Caroll as Gru and Dru, Kristen Wiig as Lucy, Trey Parker as Balthazar, and Miranda Cosgrove as Margo.

My Thoughts: I hope it's good. Despicable Me has been one of the few movies that went up as they made sequels. Let's hope the trend continues.


The Lego Ninjago Movie

Release Date: September 22

What It's About: Six ninjas fight a dark overlord who wants to take power in their world. He's also the brother of their sensei and father of their leader.

Who's In It: Jackie Chan as Sensei Wu, Justin Theroux as Lord Garmadon, Dave Franco and Lloyd, Michael Pena as Kai, Abbi Jacobson as Nya, Zach Woods as Zane, Kumail Nanjiani as Jay, and Fred Armisen as Cole.

My Thoughts: To be honest, I'm a bit skeptical. I'm a big fan of the original series, as created by Lego (Kai is my favorite ninja, if you were wondering). But I'm not so sure about the movie. For one thing, I wouldn't have picked the cast they did. Except for Sensei Wu. He's perfect. The first trailer was released yesterday, and my mind still hasn't changed. I'll wait and see what happens.


Justice League

Release Date: November 17

What It's About: Batman and Wonder Woman putting together a team to stop Steppenwolf from destroying Earth.

Who's In It: Ben Afflek as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Henry Cavill as Superman, Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Ezra Miller as Flash, and Ciaran Hinds as Steppenwolf.

My Thoughts: Batman V. Superman was a horrible set-up film. However, this one already looks much more promising. In the footage we've seen, Batman sounds more like his normal snarky self. I'm quite interested in seeing how this movie turns out. Plus, have you seen the guy who plays Aquaman? He's so perfect.


Murder on the Orient Express

Release Date: November 22

What It's About: Hercule Poirot, a detective, must solve a murder on the train Orient Express before it reaches the station and his suspects disappear.

Who's In It: Kenneth Branaugh as Hercule, Johnny Depp as Ratchett (the guy who gets murdered), Daisy Ridley as Mary Debenham, Josh Gad as Hector McQueen, and Penelope Cruz in an unnamed role.

My Thoughts: I love this mystery. It's so clever. I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it, but just be sure Agatha keeps you guessing. I'm excited to see this new movie, even if I can't imagine some of these actors playing a killer. Or can I?


Paddington 2

Release Date: November 24

What It's About: More high-jinks will occur from everyone's favorite bear as he tries to get a present for his Aunt Lucy's 100th birthday, only to have it stolen.

Who's In It: Ben Whishaw as Paddington, Jim Broadbent as Mr. Gruber, Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Brown, Sally Hawkins as Mrs. Brown, and Peter Capaldi as Mr. Curry.

My Thoughts: I'm looking forward to it. I liked the first one. Even if it did stray from the original stories, I think it kept the heart of them. And I'd completely forgotten Peter Capaldi was Mr. Curry. It almost makes me wonder if he's hiding a TARDIS around his flat somewhere.


Jumanji

Release Date: December 22

What It's About: Nothing will be coming out of the game this time. Instead, the characters are sucked in. They have to play the game and win to get out alive.

Who's In It: Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, Kevin Heart as Moose Finbar, Jack Black as Shelly Oberon, as well as Nick Jonas and Rhys Darby in unnamed roles.

My Thoughts: It wasn't until recently I actually watched the whole original movie. I like how they're not re-making Robin Williams' work, but expanding on it. I'll be interested to see where this goes. (And how Jack Black is playing a character called Shelly.)

Of course, I have a whole second list of movies I'm interested in but unsure about until I learn more about them. It includes things like The Great Wall, Kong: Skull Island, Life, and The Greatest Showman. But for post length sake, I won't go through those.

What non-Disney movies are you looking forward to this year? How are your tastes different from mine? Let me know in the comments.

February 6, 2017

2017 Movies: Disney Edition

2017 Movies: Disney Edition

The beginning of the year is an excellent time to look at all the movies that are coming out and turn into a total fangirl. (Or is that just me?) For all the people who don't have time to look up these things, I've compiled two blog posts on that very topic.

This post is about the Disney movies coming out this year. They are, of course, the single most important movies. Then on Thursday, I'll have a blog post about some of the other movies I'm looking forward to this year. It may not cover all the one's you're waiting for, and it will probably change by the end of the year for me. But I shall attempt it.

Let's dive into all the Disney awesomeness coming out this year. They've got quite the line-up for the next five years or so, with each year bringing it's own unique things to be excited for, such as Star Wars movies, more live action fairy tales, and other cool films. Ready to see what's in store this year?


Beauty and the Beast

Release Date: March 17 (Not that I have the date memorized or anything.)

What It's About: This is an updated, live action version of the original Disney movie from 1991. Like most of the remakes, you can probably expect the old movie to be mixed with elements from the original fairy tale.

Who's In It: Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as LeFou, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Kevin Kline as Maurice. Could that casting be any more perfect?

My Thoughts: I. CAN. NOT. WAIT! This is one occasion that demands all caps. I've watched every trailer multiple times, and if you haven't, I've compiled a playlist for you. The first time I watched the teaser trailer I almost cried, and when the latest trailer came out, I couldn't stop smiling. That will probably be what I look like when I finally get to see it.

Besides all I have previously mentioned, there's the music. There are new songs, old songs, and updated songs. Amazing costumes. True love. Emma Watson. What more could you want? I repeat myself, I can't wait.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Release Date: May 5

What It's About: The gang is back and ready to save the galaxy again. Obviously. There isn't an official synopsis for this one yet, but we do know it's about Peter looking for his father. Who turns out to be a planet. (No idea how that works out yet.)

Who's In It: Chris Pratt as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon, Dave Bautista as Drax, Karen Gillan as Nebula, Kurt Russel as Ego (Quill's dad), Michael Rooker as Yondu, and Pom Klementieff as Mantis.

My Thoughts: The first movie was so awesome, and one of my favorite Marvel films, so I'm excited for this one. More Chris Pratt! Another mixtape! Baby Groot! If you haven't seen him yet, you have too. Immediately. He's so cute and naughty at the same time. And from the looks of the poster and what I've heard, more of Nebula (yay!) and the Ravagers.

For those of you who don't know, Mantis is another superhero. I don't know if she'll have the same powers, but in the comic books she's a great martial artist, and has empathy, plant manipulation, accelerated healing, astral projection, and telepathy. Astral projection means she can take her mind out of her body. Basically, she's awesome, and it will be great to see another super heroine.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Release Date: May 26

What It's About: Jack Sparrow continues to be chased by old enemies. Apparently he doesn't play well with others. In this movie, it's a ghost pirate named Captain Salazar and his crew. He's escaped from the Devil's Triangle and is coming after Jack. To save his skin, Jack must find the Trident of Poseidon with the help of an astronomer and a young man from the Royal Navy.

Who's In It: Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow, Brenton Thwaites as Henry, Orlando Bloom as Will Turner, Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth, Javier Bardem as Captain Salazar, and Geoffrey Rush as Hector Barbossa.

My Thoughts: I'm looking forward to it. I've watched all the previous movies. Will was my favorite character, and I think that's why I didn't like number four as much, though Angelica was pretty cool. And those mermaids/sirens. But I digress. I'm sure we can expect more epic sea battles, sword fights, unkillable pirates, a sassy female, and naive young man from this movie. Plus, all that Jack Sparrow-ness. And as we saw in the new trailer that came out yesterday, a creepy ghost bird that looks like Becky from Finding Dory. I also saw Will for a split second.


Cars 3

Release Date: June 16

What It's About: Lightning McQueen is in a bad accident at the Piston Cup. He has to take time off to recover from his injury. Unfortunately, he's getting old. The new cars are younger, faster. To get back in the game, he has to accept the help of a young racing technician and face his new rival.

Who's In It: Own Wilson as Lightning McQueen, Larry the Cable Guy as Mater, Cristela Alonzo as Cruz Ramirez (Lightning's trainer), and Armie Hammer as Jackson Storm, Lightning's rival.

My Thoughts: It will be pretty hard to top Cars 2, but I think if anyone can do it, it's Disney•Pixar. My heart nearly stopped when I saw that first trailer and watched Lightning crash in slow motion. I can't wait to see what new spectacular things this movie has in store for us. Plus, the short in front looks super cute, as normal. This time it's about a lost and found box called Lou and a schoolyard bully. 


Spider-Man: Homecoming

Release Date: July 7

What It's About: The struggles of being a teenager, a high schooler, and a superhero all at once. And then Vulture shows up.

Who's In It: Tom Holland as Peter Parker aka Spiderman, Robert Downy Jr. as Iron Man, Michael Keaton as the Vulture, and Zendaya as Michelle.

My Thoughts: I'm looking forward to it. I never used to be a Spiderman fan, but over time he's grown on me, especially this new one, as played by Tom Holland. I'm interested in seeing a more normal superhero situation, where they actually have to figure out how to stop crime and live a normal life. Peter will be the first superhero that teenagers can relate more to, and that will be fun.


Thor: Ragnarok

Release Date: November 3

What It's About: Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and about to face a deadly gladiatorial contest. His opponent- none other than the Mighty Hulk. Thor must survive and try to stop Hela from destroying his world and civilization.

Who's In It: Christ Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk, Cate Blanchette as Hela, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Karl Urban as Skurge, and Jeff Goldblum as the Grandmaster.

My Thoughts: It sounds awesome. But what is Thor going to do without his hammer? (I was going to spell it, then gave up.) One of the most interesting things about this movie is that it has Marvel's first female super villain. Cate is probably going to be amazing in the role of Hela. And please, let there be more Loki.


Coco

Release Date: November 22

What It's About: Not a lot has been released about this film yet. It takes place in Mexico around the Day of the Dead. It involves family, ghosts, and music.

Who's In It: Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, the main character, Renee Victor as Abuelita, Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz, and Gael Garcia Bernal as Hector, a ghost.

My Thoughts: I'm interested to see how this one turns out. It sounds pretty cool. The whole cast is Spanish, which is nice, and Day of the Dead, ghosts, and music? Sounds good to me. Just look at Miguel's guitar. It has a skull on top. That is awesome.


Star Wars Episode IIIV: The Last Jedi

Release Date: December 15 (Which is forever)

What It's About: No clue yet. Probably Luke, Leia, Rey, and Finn. There will probably a training sequence. Space explosions. Epic lightsaber battles. And hopefully Luke will just take that dang lightsaber already and stop looking like a hermit.

Who's In It: Mark Hamill as Luke, Carrie Fisher (sniff) as Leia, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe, and Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke.

My Thoughts: They'd better not kill Luke. I can't take losing Luke, Leia, and Han. Also, it will be really hard for me to watch this without waving my lightsaber around and yelling "Die!" at Kylo Ren every time I see him. Please tell me I'm not alone? Other than that, I'm looking forward to it.

Disney isn't releasing as many movies this year, but they still have a full lineup. It's going to be a great year.

Which movie are you looking forward to most? Are you planning on seeing any of them in theaters? Let me know in the comments.