Welcome ya'll,

Thanks for checking out my blog. This is mostly my own crazy thoughts on a variety of subjects, but primarily they will be about movies, tv, and books. Being a movie junkie, rabid reader, and TV show-aholic, this blog is just another excuse to feed my addictions. [a quiet 'yay me']. Hope you enjoy, Clancy Metzger

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A local author and blogger - M.J. Cunningham

Meet M.J. Cunningham and her blog, Writing Realities (you'll find a link just to the left under the sites I follow). I'm writing about her blog for a few reasons:
1) I want to support local authors and Utah has a bunch of good ones.
2) I like her goal to gain 100 followers by a certain date and then doing what she needs to make that happen (I need to do this also - but thanks to you few who do follow).
2a) She's having a contest to boost her followers, so I'm trying to do my part.
3)I'm still looking through her posts but I like her humorous style of writing.
4) She is having her first book published in 2011, The Eye of Tanub and that is noteworthy : )

Check it all out and let me know what you think.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

And the movie marathon continues...

I've been feeling a little under under the weather lately which allows my sick addled brain to catch up on movie watching. I frequently seek out movies for my DVR to capture for a variety of reasons....I think it actually looks good, it has some actor/actress in it that I like whether it's good or not, it's a natural disaster flick (we've discussed this before), it's a romance of some type, and a host of other dubious reasons. So, on with the fun.

Journey to the Center of the Earth with Greg Evigan (again...I know). This was equally as cheesy and bad as 100 Million BC which, you may recall from the last post, he was also in. He had a larger part in this one, the soldiers this time were all girls, it still had dinosaurs, it still had science of a dubious nature, land lots of people die, but the special effects were minimally better. It is based on the Jules Verne story, but there are far better versions unless you just want to spend your time watching military chicks in skimpy tank tops being attacked by giant beasties in the prehistoric center of our earth. Not sure I would bother.

Prince Valiant with a really young and hunky Robert Wagner, James Mason and Janet Leigh from 1954....I know....how cool - huh? It was awesome! Robert Wagner had this terrible wig that was always - always - perfectly coiffed. If you remember the old newspaper comics the movie was based on, you'll know the style I'm talkin' about. James Mason was looking pretty good too. I really got into it too - vikings in King Arthur's court - a definite check it out.

A Sound of Thunder with Ed Burns (yummy) and based on a Ray Bradbury story. This one I'd seen before when it first came out in 2005 but it's good enough I wanted to see it again. This is about a company that takes people back in time to kill a dinosaur. The First Rule of time travel - don't change anything. The Second Rule of time travel - if you do and time waves start changing the future which is your present then figure out what that change was quick and fix it before humans turn into some funky creatures. This one is pretty good.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

SyFy Channel movies - The OK, The Confusing & The Cheesy

Yesterday was my day to catch up on my DVR'd SyFy channel movies. Three to be exact and without further ado...here they are.

First, I watched Riverworld, a four hour movie event based on books of the same name. It was well made, special effects were decent, acting was pretty good, cast was appropriately attractive for everyone concerned, characters were mostly fun but some left me wanting. The story seriously left me confused. SPOILER ALERT: I'll try my best to describe it (difficult though) - earth may have been destroyed by some blue alien people but after the humans died they kept a bunch around (not sure why) in big water tanks (think Matrix without the wire hookups) and randomly choose to put them in a land that is just a river and the forest on either side of it and act as caregivers pitted against each other and trying to have the humans help them beat each other in some vague goal. Confused? Me too. And I watched all four hours. And to top it off the main guy, Mat is perpetually hunting for his lady love, Jessie. Problem - that they only knew each other two months before dying and his only purpose in living, getting beat to hell, tortured, etc... is to find Jessie. And even after he finds out that perhaps she is not all that and a bag of chips - he still continues to search for her obsessively. Had me scratching my head - I can tell you. Maybe the books were better.

Next in my little marathon was 100 Million BC. Not to be confused with the 1966 One Million Years BC with Raquel Welch. This one starred Christopher Atkins (remember Blue Lagoon), Greg Evigan and Michael Gross. It was such a cheesy bad movie and yet I still watched every minute. Why? I'm a sucker for that cutie-pie Christopher Atkins - that's why! The special effects were so bad and funny because of it. The storyline was dubious and and the science behind the story probably even more questionable. There is time travel, practically everyone dies and a dinosaur ends up in Los Angeles. And with all our modern technology - it was still surprisingly difficult to kill this rampaging T-Rex (or something similar). In the end, they had to send the dinosaur back to its own time but did so by landing him in the middle of giant rock which I found cruel and unnecessary since he was only doing what's in his nature. So, not gonna recommend this one unless you too have a weakness for that cutie-pie Christopher Atkins.

Third was Lost City Raiders. A story about the future where the earth has mostly become covered by rising water levels. The goal - everyone wants some ancient artifact that may be able to control the water and save (or not) mankind. It stars James Brolin, Ben Cross as our villain, and Ian Somerhalder (dreamy!). This one had OK special effects and action scenes. The acting was mostly good and the story was mostly OK too. It was good just not great. I would not seek it out to watch again but if I was channel-surfing and came across it, I'd probably get sucked in again (if for no other reason than to check out the hottie Ian S.). The resolution seemed a little futuristic (considering how ancient the artifact is) and out of place, but it got the job done. So, if you can't find anything better to watch you could do worse than this one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

"The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love & Laughter"

I volunteered to review The Marriage Project: 21 Days to More Love & Laughter" by Kathi Lipp and thus I received it free (disclaimer over). Why did I volunteer? Because I read an excerpt, found it funny and liked the writer's voice. This is a Christian marriage self-help type book and whether you have similar beliefs or not - I think it has a lot of value.

I am one who does not share the writer's religious beliefs, but I read it cover to cover and liked it. I chose to overlook the parts that were Christian and focus on the parts that are about relationships. I am not currently in a relationship and have no plans to get into one, but I have friends and family who are and I will be sharing it with them.

This is a specific month long project for a couple to do together (or alone if the significant is reluctant) that can improve your relationship as you're doing it and for the future. Her premise is loving with 'intention' and I really like that concept. She frequently brings up the differences between when we were dating and after we are married. The difference? Dating = fun, excitement, looking forward to seeing each other, doing special things for each other (Intention). Marriage = can become old hat, the usual, boring, the last thing we worry about on a long list of things we juggle daily.

Kathi Lipp asks you to commit to doing the 21 days worth of projects together. Some are really easy and inexpensive or free and some ask for a little more, some are focused on partner A and some on partner B, but they are all worthwhile. She asks you to plan them out on a calendar and stick to it. She gives you specific examples not just ideas, she shares an anecdote about the idea behind the daily project, and she gives you feedback from others who have done the project.

It's a quick and easy read. She writes very conversationally and has a good sense of humor about herself and the challenges of relationships. I plan on giving this to a couple close to me whose marriage could use some extra love & laughter. If you're looking for something to boost your relationship that is practical and specific, not just theoretical and vague - this is the book!
You can check out Kathi Lipp and her book at http://kathilipp.com.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dan Wells' "I Am Not A Serial Killer"

Have no fear friends, I'm still reading slow - I just happened to be reading this one simultaneously with the last book and couldn't put it down.

WOW. Fun isn't really the right word, but sort of applies to this latest read. Dan's book, I Am Not a Serial Killer, is a young adult fantasy horror. Now, horror is not my usual thing, but this isn't slasher, well I guess it is sort of slasher (if you read it, that's funny), but not senselessly, descriptively, gratuitously gory - so no worries. It's about, John , a 15 yr old boy who is a sociopath (antisocial and lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience), is obsessed with serial killers, and realizes he has all the traits to become a serial killer himself. The kick? He doesn't want to...so, he sets up rules for himself in order to curb his tendencies and try and behave 'normally'.

This is the story of what happens when a real serial killer sets up shop in John's hometown. When the story reveals who the serial killer is, I was a little surprised by the 'what' ...ok...and the 'who'... but mostly by the 'what'. Cryptic - I know - I just want you to remember it is a fantasy horror. 'Nuff said. But, it was a quick read because I didn't want to stop. It's funny, suspenseful, and enlightening (if you want to know more about morgues, embalming or serial killers). A great story, well written, and an intriguing concept. Can't wait for the sequel, Mr. Monster, out in October (here in the good ol' USA).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"The Philosophical Strangler"

I am reading so slow lately!

I finally finished reading The Philosophical Strangler by Eric Flint. As bizarre a book as its title suggests. And so much fun too.

This is a fantasy novel about Greyboar and Ignace, a professional strangler and part time philosopher, and his agent. It takes place in the town of New Sfinctr in the country of Sfinctria in Joe's World. It has a cockney London feel to the dialogue which is awesome, a wide cast of characters hard to imagine, harder to forget, and easy to completely enjoy. And it has philosophy like you've never thought possible - a hint: it involves torpor. There's a cool tavern where the seedy reside, a lot of fights and other such action type bits, nuns, a talking lizard, and just so much more. I think you get the picture.

Eric Flint's brain was working overtime on this one - everything is topsy-turvy and yet makes complete sense. I would read this one again, and I think there's a sequel (must find). Check out it out friends.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"Sarah, Plain & Tall"

Apparently I have a love-hate relationship going on with the Hallmark Channel. I hate loving their many tear-jerker movies. I hate crying (I hate being a softie) and yet willfully subject myself to watching movies I know are going to make me cry. What is up with that?

Sarah, Plain and Tall and its two sequels, Skylark and Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End are three such movies (from 1991, 1993 & 1999). Glenn Close and Christopher Walken star in these 1910-1920 Kansas farm romance-dramas based on novels by Patricia MacLachlan. Remember back a bit when I had some thoughts on "The Love Saga"? These are the same and yet different and overall, I will say I liked these better because they weren't religious and had so much less melodrama - again having everything to do with my not preferring things too touchy-feely or feel-good.

These movies are about a widowed Kansas farmer, Christopher Walken looking pretty durn attractive (sexy even - in a smoldering sort of way) and not creepy in the least, who posts an advertisement for a wife to help him with his kids. Glenn Close is the single woman from Maine who answers the ad. Struggles, love, hardships, and a drought carry the family through the three films. I did cry in each and every one, but I also really enjoyed them. They had terrific acting, the kids were not irritating, and were not so syrupy that I was put off in the least. Plus, everyone wasn't either dying, getting married, remarried, or giving birth habitually. My thought then is that I'm glad I watched them, and sorry I waited so long to do so, but better late than never. Check 'em out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"Hot Tub Time Machine", "The Bounty Hunter", & "Remember Me"

So, I actually saw these a few days ago, but have busy- sorry. Better late than never. I did an all day marathon of these three back to back (it take s some skill to time them just right) - but fear not friends - I HAVE those skills! So, in order - here we go:

Hot Tub Time Machine - this was a fun movie but the humor at times will make you cringe or winch at the very least. I adore John Cusack, so he can do no wrong in my eyes, but the other guys in it were really funny too. If you think you will or won't like it based on previews then you probably are probably right on this one. I thought I would - I did - it was funny, but I like this kind of humor, so there ya go.

Remember Me - Wow. This was so much more and so much deeper than the previews suggest. It stars Robert Patinson, Chris Cooper, and Pierce Brosnan and many other actors I am less familiar with but who also did wonderful a job, especially the girlfriend and sister. I hesitate to give the story away, so let me instead say it took me through a gamut of emotions, broke my heart, and actually made me cry (this takes some doing, folks - trust me). This is a keeper for me. I will need to add this to my collection when it is available, pop it in the DVD, fall in love, feel frustration, be angry, flush with happiness, and break my heart again and again. If you doubt in any way, shape or form that Robert Patinson can act - watch this and rest assured, he really can and beautifully so.

The Bounty Hunter - Glad I ended with this one, so I was feeling upbeat about life and love at the end of the day. Nothing like a good romantic comedy to make all right with the world. Let me say that I adore Gerard Butler (I adore many actors - get used to it), so he too can do no wrong in my eyes. He is so good at romantic comedy (and action)(and drama)(and musical)(OK, everything - see previous disclaimer. And seriously, could Jennifer Aniston be any prettier and look any better? I think not. This is a comedy - he is a bounty hunter trying to put her in jail for jumping bail and.... they used to be married. It is an action movie - he is chasing her, she keeps escaping, and...she has murderers trying to kill her, and...he has bookies he hasn't paid looking to break his legs. And it is a romance - they have mixed emotions about each other and as they say, there is a very thin line between love and hate.

All in all, it was a very successful marathon - I left with a deep sense of satisfaction in picking three movies I completely enjoyed and all for completely different reasons. My thoughts are check them out.