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Why I’m becoming disillusioned with the Oscars – a guest post by Alex Thomas

Why I’m becoming disillusioned with the Oscars – a guest post by Alex Thomas

 

Ah, the Oscars. The annual awards ceremony hosted by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science.

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It celebrates all things film and rewards those who have been judged to have made the best contribution to the industry we all know and love. The coveted by many yet gifted to so few, Oscars. It was often assumed (by me admittedly and so many more of us) that the Oscar goes to… the greatest of its category, the ‘Best Picture’ of the year, the ‘Best Actor’ or ‘Actress’, the ‘Best Director’ and so on and so forth.

I’ve always gone along with these awards and believed their certification to be the gospel truth, to carry more weight than the opinions of friends and family, to trust The Academy to only award the best of the best, year in year out. I’ve taken ‘Metacritic’ scores to be the measure of all good cinema, and Oscar nominations as an unshakable mark of a the best films of the year.

Continue reading “Why I’m becoming disillusioned with the Oscars – a guest post by Alex Thomas”

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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

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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?

 

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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.

Sci-fi: The next generation – guest post by LE Fitzpatrick

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Today I am honoured to host the amazing LE Fitzpatrick as part of her release tour for ‘The Running Game’. She has written this amazing, geeky, heart-warming article about the importance of passing your passion for sci-fi and fantasy to the next generation. Read on – it’ll bring a tear to your eye!

SCI-FI THE NEXT GENERATION: A brief word about raising a Sci-fi fan by L E FITZPATRICK

When I became a mum there were several things I was desperate to pass on to my son: good manners, a love of food, and an unhealthy obsession with Sci-fi and fantasy. The latter has become a sort of competition with my son’s father – a die hard LOTR enthusiast. Unfortunately, despite my avid efforts to push Pirates of the Caribbean forward as a suitable alternative, I lost and for a brief while our living room became a homage to Helms Deep (the Lego version anyway).

But all was not lost. Having kept all of our old Star Wars toys (you remember the vintage ones that for the briefest moment were worth millions), I was able to coax the boy over to the dark side and, before he was three, he was able to quote, word for word, Episodes IV, V, and VI… we don’t bother with the prequels. It was a proud moment – if only I could have found a baby book that documented movie quotes and epic battle sequences instead of first steps.

Our excitement was heightened last year with the new Star Wars film and we booked a family day out to watch it. Although to be honest I didn’t watch the film. I watched my son’s face as the title screen came on. I saw his eyes light up as the theme music sounded, stirring all kinds of memories in us. As we watched Rey and BB8, I saw how a new role model was making herself into my son’s life. As old faces returned, I saw his brain compensate for the aging actors he wasn’t familiar with, become the faces he remembered from the earlier films. He squeezed my hand when he was excited, hid behind me when he was afraid, and I held him when he cried his heart out at… well you know what if you’ve seen it.

As we left that cinema, sniffling and trying to be brave, we went home and the first thing we did was put on some Stargate to “chill out” from our recent bereavement. We’re in season 6 now, and my son might be the only 7 year old in Wales that role plays Stargate in the playground with his friends.

Next on my list is my favourite – Firefly – he’s had his taste of the first episode and for the rest of the afternoon I had a mini Captain Reynolds shooting reavers in my kitchen, so I think we’re in for a win with that one too. Then maybe Farscape, a bit of Red Dwarf, Battlestar Galatica…. The list is endless.

But why is it so important I pass these cancelled shows on to my son, aside from them being awesome and better than watching whining vampires on TV? It’s because he gets to see team work in Stargate. It’s because he sees courage in Luke Skywalker. He sees strong female role models in Firefly. He sees the horror of evil and the power of good. Right and wrong and the grey areas in between. And he picks up the best one liners in history.

The geeky generation is drifting, albeit reluctantly, into adult life, and space ships are no longer just for kids. They’re for adults and families. They’re for parents to share with their children, like our ancestors used to share their mythology and legends. Now we can sit and recount life lessons in the tales of Jedi and lost Earthmen. And why do we do this? Well, because nothing in the world can be better than putting your son to bed, saying, “I love you.” And hear him say, “I know.”

About ‘The Running Game’

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Title: The Running Game

Author: L.E. Fitzpatrick

Genre: Dystopian

Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes. Always be ready to run because they’ll always be coming for you. Whatever happens, they’ll always be coming for you.

On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, trying to stay alive in war-torn London, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher – wanted by the government and by the criminal underworld – for her telekinetic powers.

Charlie and his brother John had a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless ganglord only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher – one of their own kind.

James Roxton, a conman and thief, is searching for the man who tried to kill his mother. Suddenly embroiled into the plan to kidnap Rachel, he decides he can turn things to his own advantage.

Even with the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?

Author Bio

L E Fitzpatrick is a writer of dark adventure stories and thrillers. Under the watchful eye of her beloved rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier, she leaps from trains and climbs down buildings, all from the front room of a tiny cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside.

Inspired by cult film and TV, L E Fitzpatrick’s fiction is a collection of twisted worlds and realities, broken characters, and high action. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of her imagination and creating hugely entertaining stories.

The Running Game, her latest book and the first instalment of her dystopian Reacher series, is due for re-release in October 2015 under the Booktrope label.

LE Fitzpatrick’s blog

Buy The Running Game at Amazon