9.5/10 stars for Marvel’s Black Panther

**WARNING – THIS POST CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS FOR BLACK PANTHER**

Marvel’s Black Panther has smashed box office takings and changed the face of superhero movies forever. But what of the film itself? D.M. Cain explores whether the movie is worth all the hype.

Wakanda (the brand new location in Black Panther) is a beautiful and vibrant example of exquisite world-building. It looks incredible – as a stunning fantasy landscape, a technological wonder, but also as a country buzzing with tradition and culture. The costumes, weapons, architecture and even the people’s gestures (the crossing of the arms, the dancing before the duels, etc) all contribute to a stunning world more developed than anything we have seen in the Marvel universe to date. Continue reading “9.5/10 stars for Marvel’s Black Panther”

Han Solo movie film poster Star Wars dm cain immersive fantasy fiction

7 upcoming movies for fans of extended universes

It’s an interesting time for geeks the world over as science fiction, fantasy and superheroes take over our screens. The Marvel and DC phenomenon has exploded in recent years, showering us with a whole range of excellent (mostly excellent…) films and series to enjoy. Once, comic books were viewed as for the geeky underbelly of society, the single, lonely nerd in the basement, but that has changed drastically. Now, people from all walks of life indulge in superhero adventures and science fiction journeys.

Directors and producers have seen the huge success of these movies and capitalised on the potential, bringing the huge interlinking worlds of the comics to the big screen, drawing viewers in and get the geeky blood pumping around our bodies. The Marvel universe is a fine example of this, with each film cleverly weaving in and around the others, characters crossing paths and even fighting one another (as in the excellent Captain America: Civil War).

For the modern viewer, a single film just isn’t enough anymore. We expect more from our movie experiences and each trip to the cinema gives us not one evening’s entertainment, but rather a small chunk of something that will keep us entertained for years – a glimpse into a wider world.

Here’s a rundown of the extended universe movie treats we have in store over the coming months and years:

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Han Solo movie film poster Star Wars dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Star Wars spin-off movie Solo: A Star Wars story promises to be a rollercoaster ride of adventure, cocky smirks and general roguish scoundrel antics

Star Wars Episode IX

Star Wars episdoe 9 IX film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Following the outstanding sequel movies, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, episode IX will bring an end to the Skywalker saga. It promises to be a thrilling and yet heart-wrenching goodbye to this incredible story arc.

Avengers:Infinity War

Marvel MCU Avengers Infinity War movie film dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
The culmination of every Marvel film to date, Avengers: Infinity War will bring action on an epic scale

Black Panther

Black Panther MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
A ground-breaking triumph for the Marvel universe. Black Panther’s early reviews are excellent and the movie promises to bring a mature and complex edge to the MCU

Ant Man and the Wasp

Ant Man and the Wasp MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Ant Man is a fun character and his chemistry with The Wasp is great – it will be interesting to see these two together.

Venom

Venom Tom Hardy MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Dark, brooding and intense at the best of times, Tom Hardy is an excellent choice to play Venom in all of his terrifying insanity.

Black Widow

Black Widow MCU Marvel film movie dm cain immersive fantasy fiction
Black Widow is an intelligently written character who happens to kick ass too. It’s about time she had her own movie.

Tell me in the comments section, which of these are you most looking forward to?

 

For more on world-building and immersive fantasy fiction sign up to D.M. Cain’s newsletter

cropped-immersive-fantasy-fiction-website-header4-png1.jpg  Immersive fantasy fiction profile picture - smaller

 

Avengers:Infinity War trailer review

The new trailer for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ was released yesterday.Here it is if you haven’t seen it yet:

Here’s a quick run-down of what I made of it – the good and bad parts.

PROs:

That music <3

1 - Infinity war trailer review Audrey Horne Twin Peaks

The epic combinations of characters:

2 - Infinity war trailer review Iron Man Spiderman Doctor Strange

Thor and Rocket together (squeeeee!)

3 - Infinity war trailer review Thor Rocket Raccoon

This amazing shot:

4 - Infinity war trailer review Spiderman

CONs:

I’m not convinced by the new style of Captain America’s shield. It has potential but I really miss the iconic circular shield

5 - Infinity war trailer review Captain America Black Panther

Personally, I’m not a big fan of Doctor Strange, so I’m hoping he’ll be used sparingly, and if he is used a lot, he’ll be used well

6 - Infinity war trailer review Doctor Strange and Iron Man

Do you agree with my pros and cons? Do you have different ideas? Let me know what you think!

Solo: A Star Wars story trailer review

The trailer for ‘Solo: A Star Wars story’ was released yesterday.Here it is if you haven’t seen it yet:

Here’s a quick run-down of what I made of it – the good and bad parts.

PROs:

  • This incredible shot:

1 - Millennium Falcon star destroyer Star Wars Solo trailer

  • ‘I’m gonna be a pilot – best in the galaxy’ – this line sent chills down my spine

2 - Star Wars Solo trailer Han

  • Shiny, clean Millennium Falcon interior!

3 - mIllennium Falcon interior Star Wars Solo trailer

  • I do like the look of Alden Ehrenreich as Han – he’s got the little smirk just right.

4 - Han Star Wars Solo trailer

5 - Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover Star Wars Solo trailer

  • Some kick-ass Falcon moves

6 - Millennium Falcon shot Star Wars Solo trailer

CONs:

‘I was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own’ – This line seems really cheesy to me. A bit like he thinks he’s too much of a maverick to play by the rules

7 - Robert Downey Jr Star Wars Solo trailer

Emilia Clarke looks sadly under-used (though I acknowledge that this is just a short trailer so it’s difficult to tell for sure)

8 - Emilia Clarke Star Wars Solo trailer

Do you agree with my pros and cons? Do you have different ideas? Let me know what you think!

Is this the most adorable and geeky thing you’ve ever seen?

Anybody who knows my family knows that we are enormous Star Wars geeks. My six year old son is already a die-hard fanatic and his six month old sister is well on her way.

So, this Christmas when we should have been making festive footprint art, we decided instead to go for something a little more… ‘us’. This is the result!

Let me know – which is your favourite? I really like Boba Fett and the little porg <3

Star Wars footprint art

Star Wars footprint art
The top row of footprints are by my son, Deacon. The bottom row are baby Lucia’s.

In desperate need of Thunderclap help!

With just 2 days left until my Thunderclap campaign ends, I am still in need of 22 supporters! From July 11th – 17th The Phoenix Project will be on sale for just $0.99 / £0.99 and in order to get this news to as many people as possible, I need Thunderclap’s help.

This means I need as much support as possible. I will gladly return support for anybody else’s campaigns, or if you need shares or tweets etc.

Here is my campaign:

https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/43726-the-phoenix-project-for-0-99

12347781_10203449747084004_4470958603067458317_n.jpg

 

The Phoenix Project is back on sale!

Thanks to my amazing new publisher, Creativia, The Phoenix Project is now back on sale! Grab a copy here:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01GKU3T92/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GKU3T92/

The Phoenix Project Cover.jpg

THE PHOENIX PROJECT by DM Cain – my review no.51

Wow – I am absolutely honoured by this wonderful, in-depth review of The Phoenix Project! I truly feel that this reviewer managed to grasp the core of what I was trying to say. She looked beyond the violence and the celebrity culture of the book, and saw the true messages I wanted to communicate.

This was a difficult book to write (as said in the review, I truly did have to visit a dark place to get into this mindset), but it is very close to my heart because of this.

 

THE PHOENIX PROJECT by DM Cain – my review no.51

by Anita Kovacevic on 08/05/2016

The Phoenix Project was no small surprise for me. It guides the reader into the abyss of what is wrong with humanity, so many negative feelings, brutality, alienation, fascination with fame, lack of faith and communication, and the overwhelming exuberance of alienation. It is not the book for the faint-hearted, romantic reader who seeks light entertainment, and the author obviously did not write it according to the popular recipe for book sales, but out of conviction.

This is a dystopian version of human reality set in a horribly violent prison, with characters of questionable morality and almost no hope for optimism, save naivety. The main (anti)hero Raven is placed in a prison for a crime he did commit, and is forced, along with others, to fight to life or death in the prison arena during televised fights, deluded by the warden’s false promise of early release 5 years later and a zero chance of surviving that long. Along the way you also follow a parallel story of Raven’s life before prison, explaining what led to his crime.

Considering the current events in the world, the story is relevant in its relation to the consequences of terrorism, and is painfully shocking in depicting what people turn into when they are oppressed and afraid the whole time. The author poses a huge challenge before the reader – how do you justify the main character, who is a criminal himself although he claims to hate killing? What punishment would you give or could you give? How much is enough to atone for our trangressions and who is to judge? The corruption of society leaders and the obsession with media fame are too close to home for modern society, adding to the effect of the story on the reader.

The author’s style is consistent in depicting the depressing and overwhelming amount of unnecessary violence, people herded like sheep and subdued by fear, difficulties in forming even simple friendships, let alone meaningful romance. The amount of violence is strongly reminiscent of gladiator fights, and the historical analogy emphasizes the futility of hope for human progress. The story is profused by the dark and gloomy all the way, except for the epilogue which you can read at the link in the end of the story.

The characters are memorable, for all their faults and weaknesses. The inevitable fascination with brutality, madness and the celebrity cult is a vital spiritus movens of the story. You are both shocked and mesmerized by the characters, for instance – the quite extraordinary Millicent and Khan, the brutal brother and sister and the story of how violence shapes them. No character is faultless, nobody beyond reproach, even the seeming ‘good guys and gals’, even despite their redeeming actions and life history.

Raven, the main anti-hero, was difficult to relate with for me – his lack of strength and conviction in his everyday life outside prison is so sad. He tries to please his girlfriend Seraphia by not being himself, he stays with her even after she makes a tragic decision about their common future (trying to avoid spoilers here) and even though he knows she is leaving. This eventually leads up to his crime, which, for the reader, becomes easy to guess, but difficult to condone. You keep wondering why he didn’t just choose a different path. Raven makes all the wrong decisions, and his life is a study into loneliness, depression, weakness, indecisiveness, lethargy, guilt… The feeling of isolation is enhanced by the lack of anything outside the prison from the moment he enters it, which adds to the claustrophobic atmosphere. The final scenes, when he is forced to be alone with himself, are interesting, because people always say it is the most difficult thing in life not to be able to spend time with your own self. Apart from the vivid graphic descriptions, I felt the author could have even done slightly more with this section. The purgatory/hell-like scenery is depicted really well.

However, I cannot recommend this read to everyone, but only because this kind of a story is an acquired taste. The author’s dedication and vision are strong and convincing. I am definitely recommending The Phoenix Project to fans of post-apocalyptic dystopia and those interested in the psychology of violence and loneliness.

What amazes me is knowing that the author must have gone to a really dark place of vision for this story, and is to be commended for persevering in the same tone and mood the entire time, and sticking to conviction, without succumbing to what is easier. Congratulations on that courage.

(On a P.S. note, I have read the epilogue, and much as my romantic side felt it deserved its readers, it stood slightly separate from the rest of the story in its tone.  So many things happen in the epilogue, which soothe the optimists among readers, but compared to the development of the book plot itself, it feels more like a dream than the ‘real’ ending. Nevertheless, I was grateful for the offer of hope and consolation.)

 

Source: THE PHOENIX PROJECT by DM Cain – my review no.51