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Friday, August 31, 2012

An interesting development found on Variety Film News about the titles for the Hobbit movie trilogy.  We already had the name of the two movies (when 2 were planned).  So what will the movies be called now?  The first title will remain the same - THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. The second one will now be called THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG.  And the third movie will be called THE HOBBIT: THERE AND BACK AGAIN and will be released July 18th, 2014, according to Variety.
Personally, I cant wait for these movies, and I also like the fact that the two actors from SHERLOCK (Martin FreemanBenedict Cumberbatch) are involved, which is a great show if you have not yet checked it out.
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY is due for release on 14 December 2012.  Who wants to go see it with me?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Two Hobbit Movies Turn Into Three

Maybe you've heard the rumors about the two upcoming Hobbit movies turning into three- well it looks like that is indeed the case.  Peter Jackson revealed the news on July 30th in a note on his facebook page.

It is only at the end of a shoot that you finally get the chance to sit down and have a look at the film you have made. Recently Fran, Phil and I did just this when we watched for the first time an early cut of the first movie - and a large chunk of the second. We were really pleased with the way the story was coming together, in particular, the strength of the characters and the cast who have brought them to life. All of which gave rise to a simple question: do we take this chance to tell more of the tale? And the answer from our perspective as the filmmakers, and as fans, was an unreserved ‘yes.'
We know how much of the story of Bilbo Baggins, the Wizard Gandalf, the Dwarves of Erebor, the rise of the Necromancer, and the Battle of Dol Guldur will remain untold if we do not take this chance. The richness of the story of The Hobbit, as well as some of the related material in the appendices of The Lord of the Rings, allows us to tell the full story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins and the part he played in the sometimes dangerous, but at all times exciting, history of Middle-earth.
So, without further ado and on behalf of New Line Cinema, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Wingnut Films, and the entire cast and crew of “The Hobbit” films, I’d like to announce that two films will become three.
It has been an unexpected journey indeed, and in the words of Professor Tolkien himself, "a tale that grew in the telling."
Cheers, Peter J

I for one am happy about the news, the more Hobbit the better!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Dark Knight Rides Off Into the Sunset

Last week, I took my family to see the final installment in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy.  I'm not going to give an in-depth review of this movie, except to say that I really enjoyed it and thought it was a great end to an awesome trilogy.  As far as the three movies go, I'd have to say that the second movie- The Dark Knight, was definitely my favorite.  Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises are pretty much a tie for second place in my mind.  I love both of these movies, but The Dark Knight is about as close to a flawless movie as you can get.
Some might think that the third movie may have left room open for a sequel, but I seriously doubt we'll see one.  What I'd like to see for a Batman reboot is a much bigger focus on the hero's detective skills.  Maybe something akin to the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movies, or the Arkham Asylum and Arkham City video games.  Nolan's trilogy will be hard to beat, that's why I think the detective route would be an interesting way to go next.  This really wasn't explored at all in the Nolan trilogy.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Opens Up About Books' Christian Imagery

'Harry Potter' Author J.K. Rowling Opens Up About Books' Christian Imagery

The information in this article was no surprise to me.  I started reading the Harry Potter books around the time  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban came out A friend of mine in the Air Force was reading one in the tool shop one day, and I started ribbing him a little bit about it.  He convinced me that the books were really good and I gave them a shot.  I've been a Potter fan ever since.

I- like everyone else- was very curious about how the story would end, but I wasn't worried too much about it, and trusted Rowling to wrap the whole thing up in the right way.

As the Christian themes and allegory became more evident, I was pleased but I wasn't surprised.  Rowling did something that Lewis hadn't done in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and something that Tolkien hadn't done in The Lord of the Rings- she'd actually quoted Bible verses in the text of her prose, without alerting her audience that that's what she was doing.  She was proselytizing Christianity, planting seeds in the minds of eager young readers.  She was telling them the greatest story ever told, just doing it in her own way.

It's true that Rowling admits struggling with aspects of her faith, and it's true that she is not as devout a Christian as some other notable writers, but her books have planted and will plants seeds that God can use to raise up future generations of believers in Christ.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1-5)

I just finished reading Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5) [Kindle Edition] by hugh howey

This book is a collection of the five Wool books, and details the lives of people living in underground silos in an "after the bomb" type world.  We're never actually told that a nuclear war is what happened, and in fact it's hinted at that this may not be what happened, although no life is capable of existing on the surface due to the residual poisonous gasses from whatever happened.

These books are very well written.  The author has a good way of bringing the reader into the scene and making you feel like you're there, and there are plenty of unexpected surprises to keep your attention, even in the drab, isolated existence of silo life.

This collection is a solid addition to the world of sci-fi and I had a fun time reading it.  I'll definitely check out other works by this author.

The Author's website

From Amazon:
This Omnibus Edition collects the five Wool books into a single volume. It is for those who arrived late to the party and who wish to save a dollar or two while picking up the same stories in a single package.

The first Wool story was released as a standalone short in July of 2011. Due to reviewer demand, the rest of the story was released over the next six months. My thanks go out to those reviewers who clamored for more. Without you, none of this would exist. Your demand created this as much as I did.

This is the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge. The world outside has grown unkind, the view of it limited, talk of it forbidden. But there are always those who hope, who dream. These are the dangerous people, the residents who infect others with their optimism. Their punishment is simple. They are given the very thing they profess to want: They are allowed outside.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Art of Storytelling: Easy Steps to Presenting an Unforgettable Story

This book contains good and practical advice which can be applied by anyone who desires to tell a better story. The book is written from a Christian perspective, and should help you out a lot with your oral presentation skills.

John Walsh's (author's) website

Book Description From Amazon: Whether speaking in front of a small gathering or a large congregation, public speaking strikes fear into the heart of the bravest person. Plagued by stuttering and resultant school problems, John Walsh still found himself called to be a preacher. He has written The Art of Storytelling to encourage and teach anyone with a fear of public speaking how to speak successfully, confidently, and compellingly. This book is especially relevant for anyone preparing any form of weekly Bible teaching.

The Trees

This collection of short stories was a fun read. I think the author has a lot of potential and would be interested in reading more of his work. The trees was my favorite story in the collection. I also enjoyed Laroche, but would have liked to see this story developed a bit more as I thought the concept was a very interesting one, but as the saying goes, always leave the crowd wanting more. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys clever short stories. Ebook Short Description (From Smashwords) Monsters, legends, and things that we would rather not think about, this collection of three short stories and two pieces of flash fiction will treat readers to a strange and frightening world that lies in the shadows of the Pacific Northwest. Get it on Smashwords

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Eight Point Story Arc - The Stasis

Today I'm going to continue my discussion on the eight point story arc. The eight parts are as follows.

1. Stasis

2. Trigger
3. The quest
4. Surprise
5. Critical choice
6. Climax
7. Reversal
8. Resolution

It's time to focus on the stasis. Here's a reminder of the definition.

This is the “every day life” in which the story is set. Think of Cinderella sweeping the ashes, Jack (of Beanstalk fame) living in poverty with his mum and a cow, or Harry Potter living with the Dursley’s.

So, using The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe as an example, the stasis finds the four Pevensie siblings— Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, being evacuated from London to escape the Blitz. They are sent to live with Professor Digory Kirke out in a large house in the English countryside, so that they can be sheltered from the war and continue their lives in some kind of safety and stability.

The Stasis section of this book is interesting because there is already so much going on. The children have already had their lives disrupted because of the war and having to relocate. They are already in the midst of a horrible adventure, but during this period of history (1940s during World War II) most everyone in Europe is stuck in the same nightmare. It is out of this point of troubled stasis that the story really takes a turn with the Trigger, which we'll discuss during the next post.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finding Time to Blog

Sometimes it seems there's just not enough hours in the day. It's hard to work two full time jobs and find time to write, much less find time to blog. When did we get so busy as a society? It seems that everyone faces the same time restrictions. Prioritization and time management are essential to independent writers. I recently read that one Indy writer lays down a thousand words before she does anything else each day. I think I'll try something similar.