Star Wars – The Next Chapter

So we all know that Disney has bought the Star Wars franchise and I don’t know about you, but as a huge fan, I’m interested to see what they do with it. This new installment from Disney is called Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and it sees the return of Mark Hamill as Luke SkywalkerHarrison Ford as Han Solo, and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia.

At the moment no one is giving away any plot lines and the movie’s description sits as “A continuation of the saga created by George Lucas set thirty years after Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” on IMDB. The release date has been set as 18 December 2015 so whatever Disney has done, we’ll get to see it soon. 

Until then, check out the release of the latest teaser trailer:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

19063About 5 years ago someone recommenced I read this book. I’m not the biggest fan of the genre but the concept of a book narrated by death had me ready to give it a try… and I’m so very glad I did.

What It’s About:

In 1939 Nazi Germany, death has never been busier and Liesel Meminger is arriving at her new foster home outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing, until one day when she discovers something she cannot resist – Books!

This is a small story about, a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

But most importantly this is her story – told by death…

What I thought:

This is one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. It’s emotional and extremely well written. In the beginning you’re introduced to this small town ravaged by the war, as Death does his job. It pretty much starts at the end, which really gave the book that little extra emotion.

What I really loved about this narrative is that Death is completely objective, he knows that everyone dies eventually so when he reads about Liesel he’s not making any assumptions or getting emotional. He’s purely there as a curious onlooker who has some time to kill (excuse the pun). I really found it fascinating that the one thing that captured and changed Liesel’s life, was the one thing that caught Death’s eye – a book.

Liesel’s character is so well written and her story really captured my soul. The great thing about all of it, her story, the Jewish fighter, everything, is that, while the story is well written and great, it’s not a story that is really anything new or different. But the narrative is!

So I’m super excited to see that Fox is making the movie!

I’m really interested to see how they bring in the Death narrative… and at the same time I really hope that they don’t leave that out. Like I said, that makes the story really powerful and adds another level of emotion to the story.

Veronica Mars… Exciting News!

vmpicWe used to be friends… a long time ago.

One of my all time favourite series was Veronica Mars, the story of a spunky teen investigator who spent her days solving crimes, giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “take Backup”, making a Taser the ‘in thing’ and coming up with the most creative comeback remarks. The series only had three seasons but it was enough to create a giant fan base, affectionately known as “Marshmellows”, so much so that a movie has finally been made and it was completely funded by the fans!

Personally I was super excited to hear that I’ll get more Veronica Mars and I’m counting down the days till the movie is released. And to make sure that I have plenty to obsesses about, the first look trailer was featured at Comic-Con earlier this year…

But something even more exciting has popped up that makes me want to squeal like a little girl. Creator Rob Thomas announced that he’ll develop a two-book “Veronica Mars” series! *Squeal! My excitement level just hit overload and now I’m going to have a movie and books to keep me firmly grounded in the world of Veronica Mars.

Here’s the official article from The Hollywood Reporter:

Rob Thomas will help develop a two-book “Veronica Mars” series that will pick up where the story of the forthcoming movie ends, with publication by Vintage set for spring 2014.

Vintage Books has signed Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas and Alloy Entertainment to a two-book deal to publish a new series of stories based on the adult life of the popular character.

The books will be an original mystery series featuring a grown-up Veronica Mars and characters from the series.

The plot will pick up where events of the forthcoming Veronica Mars movie, slated for a 2014 release, end. Publication of the first book will be timed to the release of the movie and will likely arrive in spring 2014. Thomas will develop and co-write the series.

“I started my career as a novelist. Veronica Mars was first imagined as a novel. I’m thrilled that I’m going to get the opportunity to continue telling Veronica Mars stories in a form I’ve loved and missed,” said the writer-director, whose other credits include cult hit Party Down and work on 90210 and Dawson’s Creek.

The Veronica Mars movie drew widespread attention earlier this year when Thomas’ Kickstarter campaign to raise seed money for a feature film version of the 2004-07 TV series raced past its original goal of $2 million in days, raising more than $5 million in total.

Thomas will work with Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, on the books. Alloy is the company behind the development of such best-selling YA books series as Gossip Girl, The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

The Veronica Mars books represents something of an inversion of Alloy’s usual process, which has been nurturing hit book series and helping turn them into popular TV shows.

The teaming of Thomas’ creative flair, Alloy’s expertise in developing YA series and Vintage’s publishing strength is promising. The book series will stand on its own but will also help cross-promote the movie and could also serve as a bridge to a potential movie sequel.

Vintage editor Andrea Robinson expressed enthusiasm for the project: “Veronica Mars has always been a one-of-a-kind character, and, as a longtime fan of the series, I’ve always thought there is an immense amount of story left to be told. Our goal for the book series is to appeal to fans of the show, but also to appeal to mystery readers and lovers of series featuring strong, intriguing female protagonists. Veronica Mars is a contemporary update to the tradition of noir crime fiction that was established by Vintage’s Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, so it’s exciting that we’ll also publish her here.”

Jodi Reamer at Writer House negotiated the deal on behalf of Thomas and Alloy.

Robinson acquired the books for Vintage, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is a division of Penguin Random House, on the deal.

Firefly & Serenity

x0ySJwtUhpv3ta7jxKOA31NTo1_500“We aim to misbehave”

I am a huge Joss Whedon fan, he’s got a killer sense of humour and an imagination that makes me want to marry his brain. I was addicted to  Buffy the Vampire Slayer (both the movie and series), Dollhouse and his masterpiece Firefly!

I actually stumbled onto the movie first. I walked into the DVD store one day, looking for something new to watch (which was kinda hard, as I’d pretty much seen everything back then), when the cover caught my eye. I asked the guy behind the desk if it was good and he told me he loved the series. I had no idea what he was talking about but I decided to give it a try… and the rest is history – of me watching the movie a million times!

I’m going to start with the TV series first because I highly recommend you watch it before the movie.

fire1What it’s About:

Five hundred years in the future, the world has changed, people live across the galaxy on terraformed planets or on spacecrafts floating through the vast emptiness of space. Firefly follows the journey of a wayward crew of renegades who make a living through thievery and helping people. The crew of the Serenity tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions, as well as authority agents out to get them.

What I Thought:

This really is one of my all time favourite series, I watch it all the time and even though there’s only one season, with only 14 episodes, it still has enough action, suspense and character building to keep you hooked.

The world Whedon creates is spectacular. It’s very basically described as a western in space, so it could fall under my favourite genre – Steampunk. The characters dress like cowboys, even their weapons look like old school guns. When they visit planets in the outer rims, they are cowboy like societies and the law is laid down like you would expect it to be done in a western. Only two languages have survived, English and Chinese, which are both spoken by everyone. The characters interchange between the languages very well and even though you might not understand the Chinese, you still understand what it is they are saying. I also love the way they speak, it’s all muddled and yet has more emotion behind it then the way we speak now.

fire womenBut, like all Whedon’s work, the characters are what makes this show. Which is why you’ll notice that he tends to use the same actors in all his series. River Tam is one of the best heroines I’ve ever seen and I’ve had many an envious thought about her. I love that her character is undefined and we spend each episode learning a bit more about her. I also think Summer Glau embodied the character so very well. In fact, all the females (both the characters and actors) in this series are kick-ass and amazing.  Zoey (Gina Torres) is the fighter, Kaylee (Jewel Staite) is the sweetheart mechanic and Inara (Morena Baccarin) is the ‘brains and beauty’ mix.

The men also kick-ass and keep you entertained. Mel is a true leader with too many secrets that you just want to suck out of him, and Nathan Fillion is the PERFECT person to play him. He manages to get Mel’s wittiness and strength spot on. I can’t imagine anyone else playing him. Wash is the one that keeps you laughing and personally I think Alan Tudyk is a genius! The man could act in anything and be incredible. Adam Baldwin plays Jayne, the trigger happy duchebag you love to hate. He’s surprisingly funny in this role, he’s got his own agenda and yet there’s a kinship that he shares with Mel. No matter how many times he threatens to leave, I really believe he never would. Shepard Book (Ron Glass) is one of those mysteries, he’s supposed to be a Shepard yet we know he was once more then that, he definitely has some ties to the Alliance. I could kidnap Whedon just so he’ll tell me what Book’s secrets are. Then there’s Simon Tam (Sean Maher) the big brother who gave up everything to rescue his sister… need I say more?

The story is so addictive and once you get sucked into this world you just want to stay there. I really enjoy the cleverness about this series, the mysteries to uncover, the countless laughs and the great action. In each episode we learn a bit more about the characters and see them doing what they do best – misbehaving.

Really? How can you not love a series where the most respectable person on the ship is the hooker?!

The Movie:

ser1When the series was cancelled Whedon had some angry fans on his hands who wanted to know how the story ended. So two years later he came out with the movie, Serenity.

The whole cast came back to tell us what some of the big secrets were. The movie is just as phenomenal as the series and, coming in at almost two hours, is action packed with River getting to show off what she can do. There were some real shock moments in the movie with some key characters getting killed off, and in the end the movie had a good conclusion, but an open one.

The real amazing thing about this series and movie is that you really can watch them over and over, enjoying them every time.

I really look forward to what Whedon does next.

mel1“Here’s how it is: The Earth got used up, so we moved out and terraformed a whole new galaxy of Earths. Some rich and flush with the new technologies, some not so much. The Central Planets, thems formed the Alliance, waged war to bring everyone under their rule; a few idiots tried to fight it, among them myself. I’m Malcolm Reynolds, captain of Serenity. She’s a transport ship; Firefly class. Got a good crew: fighters, pilot, mechanic. We even picked up a preacher for some reason, and a bona fide companion. There’s a doctor, too, took his genius sister outta some Alliance camp, so they’re keepin’ a low profile. You understand. You got a job, we can do it, don’t much care what it is.” – Mel, Firefly

25 Little-Known Facts About “The Craft”

One of my all time favourite movies, “The Craft” had me playing ‘light as a feather, stiff as a board’ and wishing I could wear black to school. This is a great post that tells you a few things you probably didn’t know about the movie.

Thought Catalog

1. The girls used actual Wiccan rituals. The Craft‘s technical advisor was Pat Devin, a Dianic Elder Priestess. She consulted on the elements used in the movie and modeled them after actual rites.

2. Fairuza Balk is Wiccan in real life and eventually purchased the pagan store she frequented to do research for her role as Nancy. Panpipes Magickal Marketplace claims to be the oldest occult store in the U.S.. Unsolved Mysteries, Dream On, and Witchboard II have all used Panpipes as a filming location.

3. They brought in over 3,000 bugs, rats and snakes to film the scene where Sarah is tormented by the girls in her home including a boa constrictor that was more than ten feet long.

4. Light as a feather, stiff as a board doesn’t really require magic. It’s perfectly reasonable that four people could lift a fifth a few inches off…

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Vamps

What it’s about:

Two female vampires in modern-day New York City are faced with daunting romantic possibilities.

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Krysten Ritter, Sigourney Weaver, Justin Kirk and Wallace Shawn

What I thought:

So last night I stumbled onto this, rather, unusual movie. I hadn’t really heard of it but as a vampire fan I thought I’d give it a try. When it started I saw that Alicia Silverstone was in it and I love her, so it started off really well… and then just got weird.

The basic premise of the story is that Goody (Silverstone) has been a vampire since the 1800s and in the 1990s Stacey (Ritter) gets turned and they become best friends. Now they live in New York, living off rat blood and going to regular meetings to abstain from drinking human blood. Things suddenly get complicated when vampires are being forced into the daylight and Stacey falls in love with a Van Helsing.

The truth is the movie is complete ridiculousness, but I kinda loved every minute of it! Honestly, it’s meant to be though. It’s a quirky story full of silly characters and a funny storyline. Both Sliverstone and Ritter played their characters well and Weaver was hysterical in her role of the evil vampire.

If you’re in the mood for something ridiculous give Vamps a try. You might hate it, but you might just find (like I did) that you can’t stop watching and shed a tear at the end.

Despicable Me 2

Eeek!!! The excitement is reaching an all time high in my house with Despicable me 2 being released on Friday. (In case you’re wondering – no we don’t have any kids yet, we just love animation :P). I want my own minions dammit!!

In this one Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal.

I can’t wait to check it out! 🙂

City of Bones

It’s two months to the day till the release of the movie adaptation of Cassandra Claire’s best-selling novel City of Bones. Personally, I’m a huge fan of the books, having read all of them and happily falling in love with Jace.

I can’t wait for this movie. I must say I have my reservations about Jamie Campbell Bower’s ability to pull off the character of Jace, but I have been proven wrong in the past, so I’m excited to see what happens. On the other side, Lily Collins is perfect for Clary!

Now can I please request the movie adaptation of her Infernal Devices series!

Lethal Weapon Marathon

So if you’re a Lethal Weapon fan like me, any time you get the chance to sit down and watch all 4 movies you will. And that’s just what I’ve done this past weekend. It’s been 26 years since the first movie came out! That means I was 2 when the movie was first released, and it’s still great!

Some people think someone who watches the same movie over and over again is insane, but the truth is, you can watch the same movie 50 times and still see new things every time. That’s really the case for me this time. Has anyone else picked up on the fact that South Africa and Apartheid feature in almost all of the Lethal Weapon movies? If you haven’t here’s a quick breakdown:

Lethal Weapon 1: When Murtaugh (Danny Glover) is searching his home for Rianne, he goes in to the kitchen and on the fridge is a sticker that says something along the lines of “Free South Africa, end Apartheid”.

Lethal Weapon 2: If you’ve seen it, you know that the movie has a strong message against Apartheid, and the storyline follows Riggs and Murtaugh chasing South African criminals.

Lethal Weapon 4: The psychologist references Nelson Mandela when talking to Riggs.

So if you’re in the grips of a freezing winter (like me) and want to spend the weekend in bed, I recommend a Lethal Weapon marathon. If you’ve seen it, maybe this will help you realise that there’s probably stuff you missed the first time around. If you haven’t seen them – you really are missing out!