Monthly Archives: August 2016

My Favorite Post-Apocalypse Movies of the 1990’s…

One big part of science fiction has always been speculation about what happens after the world, as we know it, comes to an end. Will there be a remnant, a continuation of civilization or life, in any form? What will bring about this destruction and how will those survivors cope? My fellow blogger, Tattered Remains, has listed some of the best movies made regarding this topic in his post that I’m reposting here with thanks.

From the Wastes...

The 90’s…. it was only a decade prior to this one that I was just a kid.  Now I was a soldier, a combat veteran, a college graduate, a husband (well, for a year anyway – Gads, what an utter slut!), and working man.  Didn’t stop my inner nerd from enjoying that which I enjoyed most… post-apocalypse movies!!!

The 90’s were known for being the decade in which we moved from practical effects to full-blown CG.  It was amazing how things changed in just ten years!

As always, click the poster to watch a trailer, clip, or full movie.

12 Monkeys – Based on a 1962 French independent film called La Jetée, 12 Monkeys was directed by Terry Gilliam.  This is without a doubt, one of my favorite PA movies of all time.  For those who did Terry Gilliam, this is a masterpiece.  For those who may not dig Brad Pitt, this…

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Is This a Dream?

Have you ever had a dream that was so real, so vivid, that upon awakening you felt bereft of the life you’ve left behind?  And then, you spend the rest of the day in an awareness of not actually feeling that you’re awake and wondering if you’re really dreaming the present and the other life was the reality?

Whether you want to call it imagination, hallucination, or Déjà vu, powerful dreams can shake us.  We all cling to our known reality for security; we don’t really want to feel that our awareness is threatened, even though we enjoy seeing fictional characters dealing with that uncertainty.

Blue Ships

Photo credit: Charlie Stinchcomb via Foter.com / CC BY

Having a character in a book or movie afraid that they’re stuck in a dream or nightmare is hardly a new idea.   I could list scores of plotlines that used that subtext; all the way from Where the Wild Things Are to Alice in Wonderland to The Matrix.  All of these have characters that are experiencing a world where nothing is actually what it seems, and yet, it is nearly impossible to separate the dream from reality.

alice-in-wonderland-movie
from http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com

While the thought of putting ourselves in the place of these hapless souls might frighten us, we can’t help but question, what would it be like to experience another world?  What fantastical things might we see or do?  Science is close to finding ways for us to experience this in a controlled environment, through virtual reality.  Already video games are beginning to emerge that capitalize on that idea.  Just check out an arcade center, or the nearest Dave and Busters, to see examples of this.

What would you do if you had a chance to see, feel, and experience another world; either one that is a known fictional creation, or one of your own choosing?  What once was science fiction like the immersive realities of Total Recall will probably be here in our lifetimes.  Will you take advantage if you have the chance?

I’m currently working on a book where the main character has the opportunity to explore a virtual reality, and finds it’s not always so easy to separate the “virtual” from the “real”.   Stay tuned for more updates on my book, Virtual, and enjoy your dreams.

Amy

 

 

The Theater Goes “Old School”

Early today as my husband and I visited a local flee market I was struck by the number of DVDs and even video cassette tapes that various vendors had for purchase.  I laughed as I saw movies that I haven’t thought about in a very long time.  It occurred to me that some of these movies weren’t even the most recent version available; some of these “classic” hits have been remade, sometimes more than once.  Why does Hollywood do this?

Every decade or two, a movie that makes a large impact or gathers a large “cult” following, reappears on the silver screen once more.  The last few years have seen remakes of King Kong, Mad Max, and Carrie, to name a few.  What do these have in common?

They were all made again for an audience that had probably never seen, perhaps never heard of, the original movie.  Does that make them superior or inferior to the original?  Not necessarily.  There are many factors that can affect whether a remake succeeds or not, but back to the original question- why does Hollywood reuse these plots, sometimes more than once?

  • The original could have been improved on in some way, either in production or casting or even just distribution, thanks to modern media advertising. A number of critics consider remakes of such movies as Dredd and 3:10 To Yuma to be superior to the originals.
  • If a movie was made so long ago, or did so poorly initially that it’s been forgotten, perhaps the idea could be revamped. After all, coming up with a good idea for a movie is hard work.  (I’ll leave it up to you to decide which movies you’ve seen that were probably a bad idea from the start.)
  • If one generation likes it, they will bring their kids to see the original. Surely the producers of such cult classics like Ghostbusters and Total Recall had this thought.
  • If it was good enough to be successful once, perhaps it will be again. If there was something so special about a movie the first time around, because of a spectacularly complex plot or a timeless theme that speaks across the generations, why not share it with the world again?

So the next time you decide to pick a movie, be it from Netflix or Redbox or the local movie theater, consider if the film you’re about to see is an original, or a remake of a classic.  Either way, I hope you’re entertained, and as always, I hope you get to watch with the people you call family.

Amy

Watching a blank screen

Photo credit: ToastyKen via Foter.com / CC BY

 

 

Superhero Identity Crisis

This year has seen a plethora of movies portraying various comic book and otherwise iconic superheroes, in all sorts of situations and for every age and persuasion of fan.  It’s not just in theatres either; visit any store and see merchandise ranging from tee shirts to bedsheets to action figures designed for all ages.  Why are these things so alluring?

Whether the abilities come from a freak accident or scientific genius, birthright or endowment from an alien race; the idea of superpowers appeals to us on an innate level.  Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero if they could?

Each of us in our own way sometimes yearns for something beyond ourselves.  We wish for the chance to control our own destinies.  We want to be “empowered” to act, to change things, to help or improve.  Of course, it isn’t possible to actually make ourselves into super-powered beings, but there is a part of us, our “inner child” if you will, that wants to fantasize, to dream.  And what would you dream about, if you could do anything?

100 Days of Summer #70 - Super Heroes

Photo credit: elviskennedy via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

I asked my daughter first, what kind of superpower she would like to have, and she hardly needed to think about it at all before she replied, “control of the elements.”  She would like to be able to control earth, air, water, and fire so she could “have fun, save people, and be awesome.”  Sounds good, right?  To be able to control your environment, and everything around so that you could do whatever you choose.

My husband had to think about it a little longer.  He wanted to “sling webs” first, then fly like Superman, then control minds.  Those are vast and reaching abilities, certainly.  What could you not do with gifts like those?

Myself, I think I would like to have telekinesis, the ability to manipulate objects.  It would be so much easier to run my daily life; it would be like having a thousand extra sets of hands to do my work.

Of course, these are all fantasies, and unlikely in the extreme.  However, that doesn’t mean we can’t continue to dream, and go watch movies where dreams may come to life.  Not only is it fun to see such things on the screen or in a comic book, but it’s cathartic to simply dream the impossible, to feed that innate sense of wonder that all children show, and still exists deep in our hearts.

So channel your inner child, and take time to dream.  What superpower would you have?

Until next time,

Amy

Book Review for Warlock Holmes-A Study in Brimstone

Warlock Holmes - A Study in Brimstone by G.S. Denning

Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone
by G.S. Denning

Amy Caudill‘s review

Aug 07, 2016  ·  edit
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Old fans and new of the famous detective can enjoy this surprisingly refreshing spoof of classic Sherlock Holmes stories. Denning takes the iconic characters and places them in an entirely new context-what if Watson was the deductive genius? What if Sherlock was actually a possessed by not one, but multiple demons? What if, instead of murderers, the duo actually hunted supernatural villains? With every new story in this page-turner, more surprising secrets are revealed, right up until the dramatic climax. Denning’s characterizations of Watson, Holmes, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, and the rest are as brilliant as they are hilarious. I can’t wait for the sequel!