Tag Archive | Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Things I Think About: Movies whose happy endings are bogus

When I’m not working on my novels my brain tends to go in odd directions in an attempt to keep itself occupied so I figured I’d share these thoughts from time to time in a segment I call Things I Think About. Today, I post about how the happy endings of some movies just don’t sit right with me. Bear in mind these aren’t necessarily movies I hate, it’s just that sometimes even your favorite movies can have holes big enough to drive a truck through.

The Running Man

Loosely (as in copied the title of the book before tossing it into the shredder) based on the Stephen King novel, this movie covers the story of Ben Richards, a cop who goes against orders to fire on a crowd of hungry unarmed civilians and is sent to prison for insubordination. He manages to escape and comes across some old friends who are planning to overthrow the corrupt government but all he wants to do is spend the rest of his life basking on a beach in Hawaii. Because when you’re an escaped convict with the knowledge that the government gave you orders to kill thousands of innocent people, moving to an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no where else to go is an excellent idea.

Anyway, he goes to his brother’s house (because again, the government would never think to find him there) where he finds the man has been taken away to be brainwashed/killed and a hot Latin chick who writes jingles for ICS is living there now. Knowing Amber believes what she sees on TV (like the rest of the country) and isn’t about to help him, he decides to kidnap her and drag her to the airport to board a plane to Hawaii with him. It’s at this point Ben Richards confirms he’s a moron.

She blows the whistle on him at the airport, he’s recaptured and the news broadcasts about how he went on a bloody rampage before getting caught which has Amber wondering if she made a mistake in not helping him since she realizes officials are lying about the incident. He ends up being a contestant on The Running Man where he meets up with two of his rebel friends who tells him they can get to the station’s satellite from the playing field and jam the signal to broadcast the truth to the public and STILL Ben wants nothing to do with it because not only is he a moron but possibly even a coward. Meanwhile Amber starts snooping in the company files where she finds the real video of the massacre Ben was blamed for, and subsequently shoves said videocassette up her snooch for future use, before getting busted and thrown into the game with Ben and his friends.

Long story short they manage to get to the satellite and the rebels take over the station with the help (FINALLY) of Ben Richards. The people are disillusioned, the game show host is killed and Ben and Amber walk off into the sunset and all is right with the world. Right?

Erm. No.

As we’ve witnessed throughout the movie, the government is seriously corrupt, crime and the economy are really bad and the people aren’t happy. Rather than actually trying to solve these issues the government decides to distract the public with a series of super violent and malicious tv shows on the ICS station which apparently the people lap up like mother’s milk because their mindset is in Jerry Spring on Steroids mode. Yes, there is every possibility that this little uprising set off many others as many people wake up from their fog and realize they’ve been deceived and over the coming years society rights itself again. However, there’s also the possibility that in the meantime while the group of teenagers and the old man who led them as well as Ben and Amber are mowed down the instant they leave the building by the leagues of Swat teams waiting for them outside and/or storm the building since it never occurred to anyone to put the damn building on lockdown!

Wall-E

Another futuristic movie this time brought to you by Disney and Pixar. A Walmart type company essentially destroys earth and ships the inhabitants into deep space for several hundred years while they attempt to fix the damage only to give up when it got too hard and leaves everyone out there for generations. The last working robot on the planet is apparently little Wall-E who happily works to clean up the planet while jamming to the movie Hello Dolly until he meets the sleek and sexy Eve who’s sent to Earth periodically to find any sign of biological life. She slowly warms up to Wall-E and they zip back to the ship when he shows her the plant he rescued from the broken refrigerator. On the ship we discover mankind has evolved into a bunch of puffy boneless couch potatoes who drink their meals while staring at TV screens all day. When the captain gets news of the plant he’s ecstatic to be going back home, especially when he realizes that the Earth needs some TLC to help it come back to life. Unfortunately the main computer has other orders and gets downright mean in its attempt to prevent the ship from returning to Earth. In the end though, they make it back, Wall-E gets the crap kicked out of him but survives and all is right with the world. Right?

Erm. No.

During the end credits we discover that the ship’s computer didn’t actually go into full-blown Hal mode and decide to murder everyone onboard because they wouldn’t follow its prime directive and the people manage to kick start the planet into a clean and livable place again. However, I doubt everyone was as excited to climb off their chairs for the first time in their lives in order to not just take care of themselves but to start the labor intensive farming and clearing activities necessary to get Earth back on track.

As we saw in the film, exposure to artificial gravity has caused everyone’s bones to shrink, which made them more reliable on the floaty chairs. This coupled with the fact that none of them have actually done anything physical in at least a century and it’s virtually impossible that these people would have been able to walk very far on the planet never mind doing anything else without a great deal of pain and bruising. Add this to the level of fear and uncertainty many of the passengers would have felt at this sudden change in lifestyle and mix with the very nature of some humans to just be outright lazy and we have a problem.

You can’t tell me there wasn’t a faction of people on that ship or any of the others floating around that said “To hell with this! Why should I bust my ass to save a planet I know nothing about? This life was good enough for my parents and their parents before them etc. and it’s good enough for me!” And assuming this faction didn’t just up and fly away with the ship while everyone else was toiling in the fields leaving them to fend for themselves and probably succumb to all kinds of injuries and illnesses as their bodies get used to life on Earth, how did they procreate? Did they keep using the lab or did John and Mary discover that inserting Slot A into Slot B = Baby and were put in charge of Sex Ed by their fellow Weebles?

Um well, that’s not exactly how it… oh hell knock yourself out!

Of course I never really expected the movie to cover this last bit since Disney’s idea of a sex talk is this:

This seems to be a common issue with futuristic movies involving the overthrow of a Dystopian society/lifestyle change and is the same beef I have with movies like Logan’s Run and V for Vendetta. They end with the celebration of freedom for the people but in reality the societies in these stories are in for years, perhaps decades of unrest and hard times as new ways are established and civilization is rebuilt. It’d be nice to see at least one Sci-fi story address this.

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RIP Ray Harryhausen

Yesterday the world lost a cinematic legend. Ray Harryhausen, the master of stop-motion animation and a pioneer in the world of special effects, died in London at the age of 92.

Harryhausen was fascinated by the original King Kong when he was 13 years old and later got to work with the beast’s creator, Willis O’Brien, as a technician on the set of Mighty Joe Young in 1943. Ten years later he made his debut by designing the giant lizard that ate New York City in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.

Harryhausen continued creating monsters for sci-fi and fantasy movies throughout the 50s and 60s including Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, Mysterious Island and, one of my personal favorites, The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. He receives most notoriety as creator of the monsters and effects of Jason and the Argonauts and the original 1981 Clash of the Titans. Ray Harryhausen was once asked to choose which of his creations was his favorite and he just didn’t have an answer. “I can’t.” he said, “The others get jealous.” Personally I’ve always adored the skeleton/human fights in J&A, and Charon and Medusa from COT which remains one of my favorite movies and favorite Harryhausen flick of all time!

With CGI and 3D taking over the special effects market, most people today don’t seem to appreciate the art and innovation that Ray Harryhausen put into his creations and how they enhanced movies and moviemaking, usually writing them off as low-budget and cheesy. However low budget and cheesy was enough to inspire other great moviemakers of our day. George Lucas and Peter Jackson admit there would have been no Star Wars or Lord of the Rings without the influence of Ray Harryhausen and James Cameron adds, “If not for Ray’s contribution to the collective dreamscape, we wouldn’t be who we are.” In 1992, Harryhausen received a special Oscar commemorating his lifetime of work and influence in the special effects industry. 

RIP Mr. Harryhausen. You were the best!

PROMO: Broken Faith by Brandy Nacole

Greetings and salutations! Today’s post is promoting the first book in a new Sci-fi/Fantasy series as part of Ms. Nacole’s Virtual Book Tour. Here is a post by Brandy Nacole herself about why she writes Fantasy:

5 reasons I write Fantasy

       So, what are five reasons I like to write Fantasy?  How about I narrow this down to five words instead: Seriously, what’s not to love?  I have been a fan of fantasy/paranormal books, movies, shows, and local myths since I was a little girl.  My first memory of the fantasy genre was with Interview with A Vampire.  I was four years old and my aunt, who’s just as big a fan as me if not more, was watching the movie on Halloween.  I don’t remember every detail of course, but I remember watching it with her and being totally enthralled.  From there it was R.L. Stine books, more Anne Rice, and so on. 

         I started writing when I was around 7 and while my writing wasn’t too farfetched with fantasy it was about a young boy and his pet alligator Sam.  They had all sort of adventures together.  Then as I aged, my writing became more involved with pure fantasy. 

         With Fantasy writing you can create the most unique of worlds and fill them with unique characters.  There doesn’t seem to be any line of ‘not possible’ when creating a Fantasy book.  Worlds can be made inside of worlds, powers can be limitless, battles and villains can be twisted, and romances can be epic. 

         With my Shadow World series, I wanted to reach these fantastic limitless possibilities.  My main character, Racquel, is a hybrid that is made up of four different Shadow lines.  She’s part lycan, witch, vampire, and shifter.  Sounds complex doesn’t it.  Well she is a complex character.  She’s also an outcast.  Her powers seem to be limitless and the Shadows not only consider her an abomination but they also fear her.  I also incorporated the Greek Gods with their creations.  Each line of Shadows has a Greek God that created them.  If it wasn’t for my love of Fantasy and the limitless ideas that come from creating such books, then I wouldn’t have had the chance to share the story of a unique girl like Racquel.

         With my Spiritual Discord series, I continued my grasp on the open possibilities.  Broken Faith, which is written so that the story alternates points of view, is about a fallen angel named Kayson who is from the lower realm of Heaven.  After being on the run since his fall, Kayson faces off with one of Hell’s hounds.  After barely escaping with his life, Kayson is found by Sabrina, a vampire who is a half-blood child.  This two unlikely beings work together to outsmart the very beings created to destroy them.  Because of fantasy, I get the chance to share this battle of faith and good will. 

         Fantasy gives readers an escape outside the everyday life, much like most stories.  The thing with Fantasy books, it’s something we just don’t experience on some level on a daily basis.  Now if vampires and shape-shifters start skulking the world, then Fantasy writers are going to have to step it up and reach out for a new level of fiction.  Until that day happens, readers and writers get to live out a world that isn’t our everyday hum bum routines and escape into a world filled with magic, love, rivals, and heart racing wonder.      

Brandy Nacole – Broken Faith – Virtual Book Tour

Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Date Published: April 2, 2013

This was it. The moment Heaven and Hell would clash. But which unearthly being would win? The Fallen Angel or the Hell Hounds?

Overtaken by fear, I close my eyes.

Kayson is a Fallen Angel who has spent decades running from the Hell Hounds

while searching for something that no one else believes can be so, not even God. Kayson is

determined to find a Blood Child. But when a hound finds Kayson first, he is sure his end has come.

Falon, Alpha of the Hell Hounds, destroyer of the blood children, and devoted believer in

his master’s plan, is bound and determined to drag Kayson back to Hell with him.

Sabrina is a Vampire, a half-breed created from one of Lucifer’s original blood children.

After years of hiding, Sabrina’s fate changes when she finds Kayson barely alive. Against her

instincts, Sabrina saves him. Now she and Kayson are both marked by the Hell Hounds.

Emma is an ordinary human, whose only problem is making ends meet, and getting over

the hurt caused by her untrustworthy brother. Her everyday problems become supernatural ones

when she finds Kayson and Sabrina hiding in her parent’s backyard shed.

Kayson, Sabrina and Emma are unlikely allies, thrown together by chance to fight against

the most powerful creatures of the underworld in order to follow their world-changing quest.

But will the broken faith of one break the faith of all?

Excerpt

When I turn, my heart skips a beat then begins pounding rapidly, as I’m surprised by a wet, pissed-off Sabrina standing right behind me.

“Jeez, do that again and you won’t have to worry about draining me dry. A nice heart attack will take care me.” I clutch my chest. Yeah, because that’s easing the race my heart is trying to win.

“Who ever said I was worried about draining you dry?” Sabrina says with a smug look on her face. She looks past me at the shed door. “How is he?”

Her fear for Kayson’s safety is obvious. For two people who just recently met, they sure do worry about one another a lot. And aren’t they supposed to be mortal enemies? None of this is making sense, but it doesn’t stop my jealousy from spiking.

“Still healing. It’s sad that he lost his powers when he fell.”

Sabrina nods in agreement but doesn’t say anything. Noting her bedraggled appearance, I’m intrigued to know what happened. “So, you try giving drowning a shot?”

Sabrina stares coolly back at me. “Why, need some pointers?”

Crossing my arms over my chest, I try mustering up an ounce of cool, biting back my retort I have ready on my lips. A truce has to be made between Sabrina and me if we are going to be in each other’s proximity.

“Look Sabrina, I know we haven’t got off to a good start, but heck, do you blame me?”

“Blame you for having a narrow-minded brain? Yes.”

I narrow my eyes at the beautiful vampire, whose now-clean dark blond hair reaches to her waist. Look what a good dunking does for a person. The wave of her hair frames her porcelain face, with eyes that hold a cold, calculating glint.

Virtual Book Tour April 15 – May 12
April 15- Reading Addiction Blog Tours – Meet and Greet
April 16 – My Cozie Corner – PROMO
April 17 –
April 19 – Pieces of Whimsy – PROMO
April 21 – The LUV’N – Interview/PROMO
April 22 – Michelle’s Paranormal Vault of Books – Review/Guest Post
April 23 – Noemi Betancourt – PROMO
April 24 –
April 27 – Wormy Hole – Interview/PROMO
April 29 –  Biaca2B – PROMO
April 30 – Addicted Readers – Review/Interview
May 1 – Books and Needlepoint – Review
May 2 – Love in a Book – Interview/PROMO
May 3 – Must Read Faster – Guest Post/PROMO
May 4 – Gimme the Scoop Reviews – PROMO
May 5 –
May 6 – Mythical Books – PROMO
May 7 – Faerie Tale Books – Review/Interview
May 9 – Pink Fluffy Hearts – Review
May 10 –
May 11 –
May 12 – RABT Reviews – Review

Brandy Nacole

Author Bio:
Brandy Nacole resides in Arkansas where her imagination runs wild. Her obsession is reading but her
passion is writing. She put her dream of becoming a writer on the back burner and went to college
to become a psychologist. Three years after endless classes in a field she only felt half satisfied with,
Brandy picked up her pen once again and wrote the outline to Uniquely Unwelcome. She finished out
her degree in psychology but traded her dream of writing for the degree and put psychology on the back
burner. Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her family and friends,
throwing around crazy ideas, and laughing through the crazy moments.