My thoughts on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Fantastic-Beasts-And-Where-to-Find-Them

Fantastic-Beasts-And-Where-to-Find-Them

I just saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Here are a few brief NO SPOILERS impressions:

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. It felt very much like a return to the world of Harry Potter, and that’s a good thing. I’m not as big into Potter as some people are, but I’m very fond of the movies and have watched each one multiple times.

Will I watch Fantastic Beasts again? I don’t know. Honestly, I didn’t love it as much as I was hoping to. I didn’t DISlike it, but I thought the plot was too scattered, with too many characters that didn’t serve the story and that weren’t fleshed out at all. The main character, Newt, was quite likable but even he wasn’t fleshed out in any depth. Hints were dropped to set up his development for the next movie . . . and that just didn’t work for me. I wanted to, ahem, root for Newt in this movie, not the next.

The most likable character in the movie is Newt’s baker sidekick. The actor playing him does a great job, even if he’s a bit too on the nose at times. I felt that character could have used just a few rough edges to keep him from being overly syrupy, but he still comes off a winner.

Strangely, although the screenplay was written by JK Rowling herself, the women in the story aren’t made terribly interesting or compelling. No Hermione Grangers here. There is one that is quite likable, but even she is a bit too syrupy for my liking.

In short, I thought the plot was thin and scattered and the characters weren’t developed enough. The world didn’t feel quite as deep and interesting as it did in the Harry Potter movies. And the ending was a blatant set-up for Part Two. Which I would be okay with if they’d made Part One a bit more robust and intriguing.

I would certainly recommend all Potter-heads to go see it, and anyone that wants a light, fun, magical time at the movies, but don’t expect it to be the new Harry Potter.

Maybe the sequel will improve on the first. I hate to say it, but I kind of hope they bring in a new scriptwriter. JK is an amazing novelist, and I can’t wait to read her next book, but as a scriptwriter . . . well. Maybe she just needs practice.

But those are just my thoughts. What did you think?

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Help! I’ve become infected by the Atomic Sea!

Okay, here I am, fully transformed . . .

This is to kick off the Monthly Mutation, where I will ask readers to create pictures of themselves as people infected by the Atomic Sea — fish-people, crab-people, octopus-people, whatever. They can be created using make up, Photoshop, paint on canvas, anything, and they can be simple or fancy.

I was going to give the winner (picked by me, at least for now) an Atomic Sea T-shirt and a signed copy of the first print book, but I think I’m going to change that. I really want this to be successful, and to do that I need tor really encourage everyone to send in their best stuff, so I’m going to offer $100 Amazon Gift Card to whoever wins . . . every month!

I was helped along in my transformation by the wonderful make-up artist Kat Mitchell of Austin, Texas.

To view the official Monthly Mutation page, go here: http://jackconnerbooks.com/monthly-mutation-guidelines-and-rules/

 

Fishman Jack

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Fishman Jack

 

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For comparison, here’s the before picture:

Author Photo

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Darth Vader IS returning . . . in a prequel.

Darth Vader IS returning . . . in a prequel.

Historically, Darth Vader and Star Wars prequels don’t go well together, but maybe this will work. In any case, I would love to see more Vader, and I only hope he’s not as “behind the scenes” as the article suggests. Really, what’s the point to having Darth Vader in your movie and not using him?

In fact, I think this could be a backdoor way to bring Vader into the sequel trilogy. See if my logic follows. In Rogue One, the prequel, they set up some way that he could be brought back to life after his death, whether willingly or not, or perhaps they introduce some entity that would have a motive to bring him back, then, in Part Two of the trilogy, they give the payoff to that set up by actually bringing him back.

What do you think — possible? After all, JJ Abrams has gone on record saying that “Darth Vader IS Star Wars”, so you know that’s at least on his mind. And, in a broader sense, I doubt they’re going to be able to outdo Darth Vader as a villain. That’s an awfully steep hill they’d have to climb.

I’m not say I’d want this to happen, but it would be annoying to have them keep giving us villains in terrifying masks in an effort to ape Darth. If they could think of a compelling reason to reintroduce him into the story, and write him well, I’d rather just have Darth.

Check out the io9.com article HERE.

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A “Back to the Future” remake?

A “Back to the Future” remake?

Maybe not, says Robert Zemekis, co-creator of the beloved science fiction series “Back to the Future”, according to this article over on io9.com . He and fellow co-creator Bob Gale maintain they won’t allow a remake or sequel . . . within their lifetimes. Eventually, though, there will doubtlessly be follow-ups to the series. Hollywood execs have no boundaries on what they considered sacred or untouchable. They even created a prequel to “Wizard of Oz”, although, in all fairness, they did refrain from full-on remaking it. Of course, I’m sure that would have changed had the Sam Raimi-directed follow-up been better.

Obviously there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with remakes — “Scarface”, “The Philadelphia Story”, “The Wizard of Oz” — all remakes, all great. But the actual ODDS of remaking “Back to the Future” well enough to justify doing it seem small indeed.

The only upside I can see is that a remake would draw attention to the originals and spark a new generation to find and love them.

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Part Six of my epic fantasy series “The Atomic Sea” now available!

Part Six of my epic fantasy series “The Atomic Sea” now available!

Book release alert! “The Atomic Sea: Part Six: Wrath of the Deep”, the latest installment in my science fiction adventure /epic fantasy series The Atomic Sea, is now available for your Kindle.

You can find it here . . .

. . . in the US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010E27GWS 

. . . in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B010E27GWS

 

At long last, readers can find out what happens to Dr. Francis Avery and his ragtag band after the tumultuous events of Part Five. Things are looking worse than ever, because now, finally, the dreaded R’loth, the terrible god-things worshipped by Octung and who created the Atomic Sea in the first place, have been roused to a exact an awesome revenge on the world . . . and to bring it under their dominion for all time.

How can Avery and the others possibly stop the R’loth before it’s too late? Things only get more complicated with the arrival of Segrul the Gray, a pirate admiral, and his grim fleet of cutthroats. He’s an old friend, and enemy of Janx, and the big man will have something to say about this before it’s all done.

If you like epic fantasy series and science fiction adventure, you might just be ready to take the plunge . . . into the Atomic Sea.

Again, the links to Part Six are . . .

. . . in the US: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010E27GWS

. . . in the UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B010E27GWS

 

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Phantasm Five finally coming!

Phantasm Five finally coming!

I’m ridiculously excited about the fifth Phantasm movie — “Ravager” can’t get here fast enough. I love the series dearly. One of the coolest things about the movies is how each one ends on a wild cliffhanger, which is cool if there’s another movie immediately following it, but to wait all these years to find out what happens next is beyond frustrating. Well, the “next” is finally coming, and I’m just as pumped about it as I am for more Mad Max.

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