Blade Runner, American movie (1982)

Han Solo became a true movie star when I was a little girl. From Han Solo to Indiana Jones there seemed to be no heroic deed he couldn’t perform. Now, in following the current trend of revisiting past successes, a sequel to the science fiction classic Blade Runner is coming out this fall, where Harrison Ford will once again grace the screen. For those who have never seen the original, Raistlin0903 gives a very comprehensive summary.

Raistlin0903

Harrison Ford almost seems to be on a farewell tour, in which he reprises all of his most famous roles one more time. Two years ago he played Han Solo in the seventh installment of the famous Star Wars franchise, and three years from now he will be playing the role of Indiana Jones one final time. But all eyes are on him this year, as he will be making an appearance in the sequel to the classic science fiction movie Blade Runner. One has to wonder if making a sequel to what was obviously a landmark in science fiction history really is the best idea. Still having seen the first few trailers of the new movie, and the director of the film being Denis Villeneuve, I am cautiously optimistic for it. It is ofcourse a good thing that Harrison himself is also featured in this new one. We will…

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Dynamics of a “Super” Family

It’s hard to turn around right now without seeing another ad for the next ultimate battle between bands of costumed superheroes and their legions of foes.  With several “ultimate battle” superhero movies playing currently or coming to theatres in the near future, it makes me wonder how such a group would actually function.  Would they fall into stereotypes for an actual family?  I decided to examine one such group in terms of family dynamics.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Cast: Three Things to Know About Karen Gillan’s Nebula

http://www.newsweek.com/review-guardians-galaxy-vol-2-sequel-chris-pratt-zoe-saldana-marvel-589660

The team known as The Guardians of the Galaxy has appeared in two separate movies detailing their origins and exploits, and is slotted to be a part of the upcoming Avengers: Infinity Wars.  If these heroes were an actual family, we would have to call them dysfunctional.  They are drawn together out of necessity and mutual goals, but spend a great deal of time, especially in the first feature, arguing amongst themselves.  Only towards the end of the first film do they begin to resemble a team in function, much less a family.  Only as the first movie ends and the second begins, do we begin to see their clearly defined roles in the unit.

The Patriarch

This role is that of leader, not necessarily but sometimes the father-figure, and is certainly not someone who is infallible.  For all the humanity and flaws this character possesses, it is someone that the rest of the team/family can look up to for guidance and moral support.  For this family the role of patriarch is taken on by Peter Quill.

Peter is, by the end of the first Guardians movie, the undisputed leader who is tasked with deciding the direction the entire team will take going forward.  Like a wise leader, he relies on input and support from the rest of his family, but accepts ultimate responsibility for their safety and happiness.

The Matriarch

The female leader of the family may or may not be the mother of a group, but she takes on a role of protection and support, especially for younger family members.  In this family, the only candidate for matriarch is Gamora, who may or may not develop a relationship with the patriarch in her ongoing role.

Gamora from the beginning encourages the others to make the moral choice in destroying the Infinity Stone, and though she has an adversarial relationship with most of the others in the beginning, is drawn to care for each of the others.  She calls Peter on his stubbornness, Rocket on his bad manners, and Drax on his impulsiveness.  She provides the glue that slowly draws the group together.

Rival Siblings

Never in a family will every member always get along with each other.  There will always be one or more, especially siblings, who sometimes make bad decisions and cause conflict amid the group.  In the first movie, Drax impulsively tries to take on an army by himself, nearly resulting in the death of his family.  The issue is resolved though, after a lot of yelling and pointed orders to “not do that again.”

In the second movie, Rocket, in a move rooted in his inner turmoil over his existence (i.e. teen angst), manages to anger the entire rest of the group with his behavior.  In the end though, he realizes he does have a family and joins them in a bid to save themselves as well as the entire universe from the insane Ego.

Crazy Uncle

Every family needs an elder who, though not part of the core family, is integral to the wellbeing of the group.  Yondu is antagonistic towards the Guardians on principal, but despite the fact that he kidnapped the young Peter actually became a father figure to him.  While Peter stands between him and profit, Yondu cannot help but aid the younger main and his fledgling family when they are in danger. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 casthttp://www.digitalspy.com/movies/guardians-of-the-galaxy/news/a829430/guardians-of-the-galaxy-vol-3-plot-depends-avengers-infinity-war-ending/

In the second movie, Yondu turns his back on his associates and organization of the Ravagers to more fully accept his role in the team dynamic of the Guardians.  He allies with them, partially out of selfish interests, but more so to save Peter’s life.

The Baby

The youngest member of the family is inevitably protected, if not outright spoiled, by the rest of the family.  This person is sometimes overlooked by the group when matters turn serious, and may have to fight to make their value known.  The “baby” of this family of course, is Groot.  His limited vocabulary notwithstanding, he is sometimes underestimated by the others for his simple nature.  However, he proves himself multiple times when it matters most, such as when he becomes a shield to save the others in the first movie.Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 - Baby Groothttp://www.newsweek.com/review-guardians-galaxy-vol-2-sequel-chris-pratt-zoe-saldana-marvel-589660

 

In the second movie, he is still growing out of the effects of that incident, but despite his much smaller stature, is hardly incapable.  Despite his small stature and childlike behavior, he proves to be invaluable in getting into places beyond the reach of the rest of his family.

The main role of the family is to care about each other, to protect each other when possible, and to spend time together.  So The Guardians of the Galaxy, while they may not be the ideal family, do prove themselves to be one.

Hope you and yours enjoy the next feature film, and I’ll see you soon.

Amy

 

 

 

 

You’re here for the science, I’m here for the fiction

A fellow blogger shares his thoughts on critics who try to impose too much “scientific accuracy” on popular movies.

Pop Cultural Studies

Whatever happened to suspension of disbelief? Every time I load YouTube, I see that there’s a new video from the Nerdist explaining the science behind science fiction and fantasy films and TV shows. CinemaSins, best known for their “Everything Wrong With” series, does comedic criticism of movies which focuses on the quality of movies while also touching on stuff like continuity, but frequently gets overly fixated on various minutia that really don’t seem to matter. If an action hero jumps out of a window and lands unscathed in such a way that might break a bone for a normal person, CinemaSins sees this as a “sin.”

Science Fiction 1

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate scientifically accurate films. I think it’s great when people can get involved in movies like Interstellar because of their scientific accuracy. And if films, like Interstellar, want to do their scientific research to create a fictional world grounded…

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Amy Caudill’s Reviews > Bones of the Lost Bones of the Lost by Kathy Reichs

Bones of  the Lost by Kathy Reichs

Bones of the Lost (Temperance Brennan #16) 
by Kathy Reichs (Goodreads Author)

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Amy Caudill‘s review
Jul 25, 2017  
Kathy Reichs is not a paranormal writer, but the dead speak to her anyway. Both Reichs, and her main character, Dr. Temperance Brennan, are forensic anthropologists who examine the remains of unexplained deaths and allow the bones of these bodies to tell their story.
In the 16th installment of Reichs’ series, Bones of the Lost, Brennan is assigned to examine the remnants of a set of mummified dogs that have been smuggled from Peru, and sent to the Charlotte-Mecklenberg coroner’s office in North Carolina for examination and confirmation. At the same time, the remains of a young, unidentified hit-and-run victim are brought in. Little does Brennan expect at the time, but these two cases will prove to be linked in a story that takes her from North Carolina to Afghanistan and back.
Brennan becomes the victim of a vicious, mysterious attacker as she uncovers evidence of murder, prostitution, and human trafficking. She faces danger head on, with the support of Detective Slidell, and her ex-husband Pete, who may or may not be interested in competing for her affections against off-again ex-lover Ryan.
Brennan is deeply passionate about both the victims she examines and those she may be able to help prevent landing on her morgue table. Reichs’ story touches a number of current social issues, from the war and gender discrimination in Afghanistan, to the rise in human trafficking, complete with relevant data and figures. Reichs’ true-life experiences with the subject matter show vividly in this compelling story that was difficult to put down until I’d reached the end.

Kacinema Thoughts #1: The 13th Doctor Reveal

For the first time ever a female timelord will be in control of the Tardis. Jodie Whittaker’s (from BBC’s Broadchurch) appointment as the thirteenth incarnation of Dr. Who this week has already sparked controversy among fans of the series. Here’s some first looks at the next season of the iconic series.

Movie Reviews & More!

So before I get into my actual thoughts on this, I feel I should explain why I felt the need to talk about it. Firstly, let me give some context to what’s going on for those who don’t know so much about Doctor Who. The series premiered on November 23, 1963 and starred William Hartnell as the titular Doctor. The Doctor is a Timelord from a distant planet called Gallifrey and goes on many crazy and wondrous adventures through time and space along with a companion or companions to take on them in his spaceship shaped like an old police phone box. But after 4 years of doing the show, Hartnell wished to leave the show. So it was written into the story that Timelords, when fatally injured, can regenerate.

And thus, from that point on, every few years, the Doctor would regenerate and take on a new face, sometimes…

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Answering a Footprints Challenge

A fellow blogger issued a short, short story challenge based on a photo he posted on his site, and I decided to answer it, with a science fiction theme, of course.  Here is my post, along with a link back to the original site and story.

Footprints in the Sand

Captain Drake stood a short distance from his crew as they took readings from the surface of the deserted planet.  They had landed near the remnants of a small settlement which was overgrown with vegetation and lacking any signs of human life.  They would analyze air, water, bacterial content- anything that could explain the disappearance of the colonists.  So far, they had found nothing.

Drake stepped away from his crew, toward the nearby sea.  Near the edge of the water he spotted a set of footprints, made by bare feet, along with a circular impression that might have been left by a cane.

The footprints seemed to go directly into the sea, as if the person had simply walked into the water and disappeared, but where was their owner now?  These tracks in the sand might be the last testament of those who once lived here.

Frank Angle’s Story

Take Time to Celebrate!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

All across the United States today, people are pausing to remember, and think about, loved ones who are serving or have served in our armed forces.  Very few of us have not been touched in some way by those in service of the country; either by veterans past or present, or perhaps tales of loved ones only known from photos and a flower-bedecked marker in a cemetery.

While it can be hard to remember or miss, there are still causes for celebration today.  Another year of freedom.  Another year of living in a country where many things are possible.  A time to spend with family and friends, a time to overeat, a time to reminisce.

A time to enjoy fireworks.  Perhaps where you live you’ve already seen some this year.  After all, some parts of the country held their shows early to allow for the fact this holiday fell on a Tuesday this year.  But for all of us, fireworks are an excuse to indulge in childlike wonder, a feeling that can be hard to capture when our thoughts turn to turbulent times and painful reminders.  While we honor those who have done their duty, take time to take pleasure in those things around us; after all, the joy we find in life is what makes it worth living and fighting for.

Happy Independence Day to all!

Amy

How to Plan a (Successful) Staycation

As warm weather and impending summer holidays are upon us, many of us are looking for a break.  Whether you have one night or an entire week or more at your disposal, it feels good to plan an escape.  That’s when the questions start: do we go away, do we stay home, how do we get there, and how do we pay for it?  If your answer to any of these is to spend your “days off” in the comfort of your own home, then I have some tips for you to make sure that the time is truly the “vacation” you’re looking for.

 

Family ties
Photo credit: Paladin27 via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

Plan your holiday.

Whether your plan to “staycation” is made to avoid the stress of travel-traffic, long lines at the airport, hours spent in the car or in airline terminals, and not-always-conducive sleeping arrangements-or to simply to save money, you need to plan this holiday just as carefully as you would any other.  Decide on your goal(s) for vacation-do you want to relax, have fun, spend quality time with the family, etc., and plan activities to meet those needs. Bear in mind each person “accompanying” you on this vacation, and include something everyone will enjoy.  Budget should be a consideration, though it doesn’t have to be extravagant, since you won’t need to include airfare, hotels, or mass mileage in your estimate.

Avoid working on your vacation.

One problem with taking a holiday at home is that you do not leave it behind.  Try to catch up on laundry and go grocery shopping before your vacation begins, unless you enjoy doing these things when you’re on holiday.  If you have unfinished home repair projects or chores that have been put on the back burner, it can be tempting to tackle them since you’re there anyway with free time on your hands.  Wrong!  You’re on vacation.  Evidence of any projects that can’t be finished before the vacation starts should be set aside or hidden away till after your “return,” otherwise you’ll find you won’t truly be taking time off.

Relax, relax, relax.

The beauty of having a vacation at home is you don’t have to go anywhere if you don’t want to.  You can spend the day in your pajamas, stay inside, veg out in front of the TV, or simply do nothing important.  While you’re on vacation, take the opportunity to sleep in, youngsters permitting, or take an afternoon nap in the shade.  Read a book, clear out your DVR, or take a long bath.   Unwind and simply relax, in whatever form appeals to you.  It’s your vacation, so make the most of it.

More family time, this time in the morning at the @weatherford5 household.  Family is key in that house.  #SteveWeatherford #Armagedon #FroKnowsPhoto #IShootRAW #PhotoStory #Nikon #D5 #Canid #Family #face #light #litbyphone @weatherford5 @nikonusa @adobec
Photo credit: jaredpolin via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-SA

Plan to spend the day away.

A staycation doesn’t have to mean you spend the entire time at home.  Play tourist in your home town and visit all the places you’ve always wanted to see but have never managed.  Drive to a local amusement park, go to a ballgame, walk around downtown and read the historic markers.  Part of a vacation should be taking the time to do the things you never have time for otherwise.  Of course, you can always just try a new restaurant or take time to catch that movie you’ve been dying to see.

Family time out
Photo credit: man’s pic via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

Whatever you do for your staycation, make it as memorable and as pleasant as any other vacation you’ve ever taken; because after all, that is exactly what it is meant to be.

Enjoy!

Amy

First look–Kenneth Branagh and all-star cast bring Christie’s Poirot back to the big screen

The first Agatha Christie novel I ever read was the timeless classic, Murder on the Orient Express, featuring the Belgian genius Hercule Poirot. With a cast led by actor/direction Kenneth Branagh, Hollywood once again brings the iconic tale to the big screen.

borg.com

Everyone is a suspect.  The clues are everywhere.  For mystery lovers, it’s a staple.  It’s Agatha Christie’s most well-known 1934 novel come to life, Murder on the Orient Express, the fourth major production for film or television of the classic whodunit in the English language–the 1974 Academy Award winning Sidney Lumet film being the best known.  For the older generation the story is known, but for a new generation the stage is set for a big screen version of Clue/Cluedo.  As with the 1974 version, the cast of the 2017 version is extraordinary.

So how do you cast a film against the last generation of film greats?  Leading a bevy of thespian knights and dames, Sir Kenneth Branagh both directs and stars as master detective Hercule Poirot, the world’s greatest detective, played previously by Albert Finney (who refused a knighthood in the year 2000).  Sir Derek Jacobi plays the butler Edward Henry Masterman…

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Film Quiz: Inspirational Women

I came across this interesting quiz that highlighted decades of strong, female leads and had to share it. It’s amazing how many inspirational women we can find movies of all types, from dramatic romantic heroines to advocates of political change to military powerhouses. Film has long had the ability to capture the best, and the worst of us. Perhaps from this list you can reconnect with an old favorite or find a new one.

Alex Raphael

After seeing Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and Alien Covenant on the same day, I twice saw the trailer for Wonder Woman (and what looks to be the woeful King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). DC will be hoping for success for its empowering heroine to match films within the Marvel Universe. It got me thinking about what other Hollywood females have been inspiring viewers through the decades. How many did you get? Are there others that inspire you?

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 1 1. (1930s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 2 2. (1940s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 3 3. (1970s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 4 4. (1980s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 5 5. (1990s)

GI JANE 6. (1990s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 6 7. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 7 8. (2000s)

MCDVEGU EC003 9. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 10 10. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 11 11. (2000s)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 12 12. (2010+)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 13 13. (2010+)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 14 14. (2010+)

Film Quiz - Inspirational Women Film 15 15. (2010+)

Answers below

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