Otherwhere

Books, movies, reviewage and other mixy things

Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

David O. Russell

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

I’d first like to to thank my family for being relatively drama free. Especially compared to the family in this movie. I had a hard time trying to categorize this one. It’s sort of a dramedy but it’s pretty light on the comedy part. I found myself laughing more out of nervousness than actually laughs, though those existed as well.

Bradley Cooper plays a manic depressive bi-polar son of a an Eagle’s booker suffering from OCD. He constantly has to keep himself reigned in, the proverbial ticking time bomb, which he tries to subdue with vast amounts of running. Cooper’s performance in this movie blew me away. The amount of talking he did alone, having zero social filter was through the roof. I’d be curious to see how much of it was improved.

Jennifer Lawrence, is a force, she has been since Winter’s Bone. The woman can act and it didn’t bother me one iota that she is fifteen years Cooper’s junior. On a side note, I am dying to find the jacket she was wearing in the beginning of the movie with the corset back. Seriously, if you know where I can find it, please share.

De Niro was stellar playing the OCD booker dad, with his ridiculous superstitions and it was great to see Chris Tucker in something not Rush Hour, related.

The story itself was hilariously crafted, giving the movie a lighter edge while still giving the actors the catalyst they needed. The dance scene in the end is just perfect.

The Point: De Niro, Cooper and Lawrence rocked the subtleties, highs and lows of dealing with complicated people, through the absurdities of Eagle’s football superstitions and ballroom dancing.

BY - December 3rd, 2012 - Movie Reviews - 1 comment

NaNoWriMo Week 4: Keeping the words flowing

Seriously, where did November go? I can’t believe NaNoWriMo is in it’s final days. There must be a black hole somewhere. Not kidding.

Last Friday I hit the 50k mark! Yay! Then a huge cloud of dread fell over me as I realized my novel is no where near finished! Ack! The competitor in me couldn’t let that stand so as of now I am sitting at 60k hoping that the 75k mark will get it closer to done. Also hoping to hit that mark by the end of the month. Ha! We will see about that.

It is taking more and more time to get fewer words out. I have found myself having to stop, plot, research and plot some more, about every 500-1000 words. Let’s just say that the Thanksgiving holiday couldn’t have come at a better time. Otherwise I’d still be working towards the 50k mark.

I was trying to think of some words of wisdom for this last home stretch and… came up with nothing. So keep on typing! You’re almost there! Find inspiration in the authors/books/movies/music you love, spend a few minutes writing a scene from an alternate perspective, write yourself into a scene, look at location photos, find models for your characters, make a playlist based on your story, just keep going!

Wow, that was actually some good advice. I think I am going to go write an alternative scene right now! Happy writing and there is light at the end of the tunnel!

BY - November 27th, 2012 - News - 1 comment

Lincoln

Lincoln (2012)

Steven Spielberg

As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

Practically the same day this movie was released I started seeing ads on the trade sites for ‘For Your Consideration – In All Categories.’ There is a distinct possibility this movie could walk away with an arm load of statues come Oscar season.

Spielberg is at the top of his game here. He has been in the industry for decades and it shows in every frame he shoots. The lighting is absolutely beautiful, each actor is given the space to blow away your expectations, sets are pristine, there is a logical flow from scene to scene, in a word it is amazing. Even if there wasn’t a single line of dialogue, you would be moved by the imagery.

Daniel Day-Lewis was Lincoln. Soft spoken, with a gaping step, he was pitch perfect. Able to be dryly funny to grief-stricken. The man absolutely deserves any awards granted him. Sally Fields, Tommy Lee Jones and Joseph Gordon-Levitt aren’t usual players in the period roles, but I didn’t even notice, each doing some of their greatest work in this movie.

I will say, I was expecting a lot more scenes of war. Spielberg is a big fan of war films, and while this certainly deals with the civil war, you spend a lot more time in the White House dealing with congress than on the battlefield. Half way through a battle field scene would have been a nice break, as politics (even made infinitely more interesting by amazing writing and actors) is not my thing.

The Point: Lincoln is an intimate look at the Civil War president, played by actors at the top of their craft and mastered by Spielberg’s massive experience and artistry.

BY - November 27th, 2012 - Movie Reviews - Leave a comment

Shadowfever (Fever #5)

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it’s good.”

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves.
Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master’s penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac’s journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world . . . or destroy it.

Originally reviewed August 3, 2011

Phew! What a fantastic series! Unlike some other series *cough* Sookie *cough*, this one had a very clear beginning, middle and end. There is nothing watered down or elongated here. Really, it reads like Lord of the Rings or Hunger Games. The books are simply volumes in a longer story. This made for a very refreshing read, after trudging through other faved series that should have ended books ago (but that I keep reading out of undying loyalty…ugh.) The story was well thought out with complex story lines, side plots and well weaved (if not an inordinate amount of) tension.

Mac was a great character to follow, she lead you through the hero’s journey with souther sass, charm and just the right amount of utter confusion. Okay I take that back, I spent most of the series wanting to slap her face off for being so confused and totally undeceive. But who wouldn’t be if you were thrown into the middle of a Fae war, stripped of all your comforts not knowing who to trust or what you even are. Moning had the perfect remedy for the gray and confused thoughts of Mac, through another great character, Dani.

She was the yin to Mac’s yang, her cheese to her mac. Where Mac was gray Dani’s world is black and white, she was never confused about who she was or where she stood. She added a little “innocence” to the over sexed world of the Fae and heavily accented voice to a world gone mad. Along with the other side characters of Jayne, Mac’s parents and the Keltars you had enough human to keep the story grounded and enough outside perspective to keep you sane when Mac was a blithering idiot. Moning does a great job of directing your emotions towards Mac and by the end you’ll be cheering right a long with her, and loving every minute.

Jerico, Jerico, Jerico…never have I met a more infuriating man on the page. He is not a romantic lead, the hero (or the antihero), he cannot be tamed and is never more than what he appears to be. The man is an animal and unlike other simpering PNR books, he is never anything more, but in Moning’s New Dublin, he is exactly the guy you want. For four and a half books this man is steeped in mystery and by the time he is revealed, you feel like you have only scratched the surface. And if you are waiting for Jerico and Mac to get their collective shit together, you will be waiting for…ev…er. Well, not that long but lets just say when you live forever you can have a lot of bloody patience.

You spend 4 and three quarters books, analyzing, deciphering and adding to a very long list of questions that by the end you don’t care how it ends as long as you have some damn closure! Moning does a great job of bringing everything together, with plenty of twists and turns along the way. Questions are answered and satisfaction (on sooooooo many levels) is finally had. It isn’t all wrapped up in a pretty pink bow however, she leaves a few strings dangling for future possibilities and instead of ending a chapter, begins a new one, with a New Dublin.

A final word, when I first started this series I believed that the Fae could have been replaced with any other super natural species and it would have been just as good. I no longer believe that. The Fae are infuriating in their endless possibilities and complexities. They have no boundaries but within Moning’s brilliant grasp, they are intriguing and manageable.

I will read ANY book that will continue Mac’s story, and look forward to reading more Moning’s works.

Rewind

The Audiobook: Natalie and Phil return for Shadowfever. I loved this book in print, I lust after this book in audio form. I was actually surprised how much I had completely forgotten from the previous time I read this series. But I know I won’t forget nearly as quickly this time with the voice of Barron’s scarred into my memory. These books are so well produced and acted in audio format that you forget you’re listening to a book! It is a happy medium between the printed page and the screen. Plenty of room for imagination, but with the right narrators it can really bring your imagination to life.

This is one of those rare series, that come out and totally flip your world. I loved every minute and will absolutely be revisiting these books again!

Length: 19 hours and 57 minutes     Narrators: Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross

BY - November 26th, 2012 - Books - 2 comments

A Happy Thanksgiving Top Ten from Jessi

I hope you and your families have a fantastic weekend of foot, football and fellowship! I’ll be pulling double duty between my family and my husband’s as well as making plans to snowboard and NOT shop. If I am really lucky, I’ll put another dent in that NaNoWriMo word count.

It’s a great time of year and I am very thankful to be a part of the book community. During the past couple of weeks I have met so many great writers/readers/authors participating in NaNo and am looking forward to the RT conference in KC with @Bookandlatte, @CindiMadsen and @yaromance. Of course Denver Comic Con is returning next summer and that is absolutely on my list!

In the bookish/movies sense of things, here is a Thanksgiving Top Ten books/movies I am thankful for this year!

Thanksgiving Top Ten

10. The Fever Series by Karen M. Moning – Has been a huge inspiration during NaNo for me this year.

9. The fact that Channing Tatum was in no less than six movies this year.

8. Joss Whedon

7. Zombies ala The Walking Dead, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Warm Bodies.

6. Aliens especially the kind found in Obsidian (Lux, #1) and Onyx (Lux, #2).

5. Hilarious books like Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir.

4. The return of LOTR in The Hobbit.

3. Ernst Cline writing Ready Player One, on of my new time favorite books.

2. Having bookish friends who not only put up with my literary craziness but join in it.

1. Having friends (and a mom) who will pretty much see every single movie ever made with me. Love to you all :)

BY - November 21st, 2012 - News - 1 comment

NaNoWriMo Week 3: Much needed inspiration

It’s hard to believe we are two thirds through the month! With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner, it can be a time to catch up on the word count or a giant ball of stress! With double family dinner duty and a few birthdays thrown in, I am not seeing much writing time over the next several days.

Heading into the final 5k, much of what I originally plotted out has been filling up. I am left with complex scenes that either need loads of research or serious outlining. Of course I had to pick a political/adult/fiction/dystopian-ish trilogy for my first NaNo! There are blanks all over the place where I need to fill in types of weapons, vehicles and even figure out what the hell politics are going on!

I know all that stuff will be part of draft 2 in December, as there isn’t enough time to research it all now. So what next? It’s an adult book, but I can’t just keep writing steamy scenes (I could… but…). I’ve been all over the place looking for inspiration. Scenes, ideas, sparks that could add depth, make it a better story, or even just give me another 10k of words to write!

Below are a few things that have inspired me, whether it be helping me improve my character descriptions, ideas for better plot development or just to get me in the right mindset. I am a total newbie, so take it with a grain of salt and feel free to share what has inspired you this month!

NaNo N00b’s list of inspiration in the quest to 50k:

1. Action movies like, The Expendables, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Seven Psychopaths and others.

2. The Fever series by Karen M. Moning. All of them, she is kind of my author obsession right now.

3. Thesis’ on Buffy characters like The Last Spike: Jungian Individuation In Buffy The Vampire Slayer

4. Currently, the music of Rise Against and Of Monsters and Men

5. It’s a weird combo but tv shows The Walking Dead and Arrow have been greatly inspiring :)

Happy NaNo!! What’s inspiring you this week??

BY - November 20th, 2012 - News - Leave a comment

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)

Bill Condon

½

After the birth of Renesmee, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect the child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.

It is actually a rare occasion to see a movie franchise come to completion. Usually they go on, and on, and on. That is, until people stop caring or they run out of money. With the exception of Harry Potter and LOTR I actually can’t think of another book series that has played out completely on the silver screen yet.

Regardless of what your overall thoughts were on the series, if you’re a Twilight fan, it is bittersweet. It feels like the end of an era. We have all been on this wild ride for the past several years with these books, movies and the fandom surrounding it. And unless Midnight Sun, finally gets its due completion, this is it! I can count on one hand how many times I’ve cried in movies. I actually teared up at the end of this one. Pretty sure the last time that happened was at the end of Return of the King. It was affecting and one hell of a way to end a series.

Meyer’s went out with a bang, with this franchise. There had been rumors floating around with a change to the end of this story. Two words for ya… holy shit. I am actually having a hard time remembering the first two-thirds of the movie as the last third was phenomenal and intense.

You know the story, and if you’re a fan you’re going to see the movie. There is a lot of memories and sentimentality attached to this story for me, so sure I am biased. But I love getting lost in this world Stephanie Meyer’s created, and I certainly got lost in it all over again during this movie.

The Point: An intense and well brought together finale that gives due respect to the phenomenon Meyer’s created.

BY - November 16th, 2012 - Movie Reviews - Leave a comment

Feature & Follow Friday #45

Feature & Follow

Follow & Feature Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is a great opportunity to find and meet new bloggers. Grab the code over at their website to join in on the blog hop!

Welcome!!! For those of you who have not been here, welcome to the hell mouth...er I mean Otherwhere.co. While books are certainly a main focus here, you will also find movie reviews and entertainment news! Poke around, leave a comment, join this site, follow my Twitter/FB/Goodreads/Linky and tell me what you think! Happy blogging!

Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

This question is getting harder and harder to answer these days! Everything comes from something. Honestly my picks could already be books (I just didn’t have the energy to look them up). Shakespeare in Love, is one of my all time favorite flicks. You couldn’t ask for a better cast of characters and for once, the Academy was not wrong in bestowing picture of the year on this gem.

I think of all the little extras that would be in the book. Certain scenes with more detail, eh? And as it is a bit Shakespeare, language is such a huge part of who he is, it almost screams for the page anyway.

Now watch, someone is going to straight up tell me it’s based on a book. Sweet! Tell me which one it is.

On the blog this week:

[News]: NaNoWriMo Week 2: Plot Development
[Book Review]: Dreamfever (Fever #4)
[Book Review]: Faefever (Fever #3)

Keep on writing! Happy NaNoWriMo!

BY - November 15th, 2012 - Follow Friday - 5 comments

NaNoWriMo Week 2: Plot Development

Darn those week two blues! No doubt the second 10k was more difficult that than the first and now in the middle of the third 10k, it’s getting more difficult to keep the plot in line. Not to mention, the characters, settings, and the simple will to go on.

I spent quite a lot of time working on character development, psychoanalyzing their nuances and putting them through the Jungian ringer. I actually had to stop myself. There is so much I want to do with these characters, but I am making myself wait until the second draft! The agony!

There is that point where you can’t write anymore dialogue or, well, romance-like scenes, before you have to start writing the bits that go around all the good parts. Transitions, driving plot points, and ultimately the whole story behind the book.

I went in with a pretty decent idea of what I wanted to accomplish, the direction I was going in. I had no idea how much research I needed to do! There is a military/political bent to my NaNo experiment, and there is all sorts of stuff I find myself looking up. Weapons, military protocols, political theories. In some ways it’s like writing a research paper… without the strict bibliography. However I have had several authors tell me to hang on to all my sources, should I decide to query I may need to defend any ‘facts’ or info used.

Plot and world building, can be just as problematic as character development, if not more. Below are some great resources I’ve found to help with just that.

Plot Diagram – ReadWriteThink

Building Plot from Character « Let The Words Flow

Create A Plot Outline In 8 Easy Steps

Not Your Typical Plot Diagram

“The Most Dangerous Game” Plot Diagram by Joseph Bakhit on Prezi

NaNoWriMo Tip #16

BY - November 13th, 2012 - News - Leave a comment

Dreamfever (Fever #4)

They may have stolen my past, but I’ll never let them take my future.

When the walls between Man and Fae come crashing down, freeing the insatiable, immortal Unseelie from their icy prison, MacKayla Lane is caught in a deadly trap. Captured by the Fae Lord Master, she is left with no memory of who or what she is: the only sidhe-seer alive who can track the Sinsar Dubh, a book of arcane black magic that holds the key to controlling both worlds.

Clawing her way back from oblivion is only the first step Mac must take down a perilous path, from the battle-filled streets of Dublin to the treacherous politics of an ancient, secret sect, through the tangled lies of men who claim to be her allies into the illusory world of the Fae themselves, where nothing is as it seems—and Mac is forced to face a soul-shattering truth.

Who do you trust when you can’t even trust yourself?

Originally reviewed July 21, 2011

Arg!!! I hate how this book ended. Not because it wasn’t good but because…well arg!! I’ll have to write a more thorough review once I have had time to get over it. Needless to say I hope the final book turns things around.

Rewind Update

I knew I had planned to go back and give this a proper review, but clearly that didn’t happen. I remember how devastated I felt at the end of this book. I had never (or since) been on such an emotional drag through hell. It is hard to talk about this book in anyway that doesn’t give it away. Here’s my attempt.

Dreamfever, starts off right where Faefever ended. This is rock bottom for Mac, she has completely lost herself and the first part of the book is her clawing her way back to herself, with the ‘help’ of Jericho Barrons. We are now on to Mac 4.0. She is forever and irrevocably changed by the events that start this book off.

Dublin is mirroring Mac, it is at it’s lowest point, now trying to claw its way back to survival. Dani is in the midst of it, fighting right alongside Mac. She thankfully adds a much needed voice of reason, especially when Mac is practically incoherent and stuck in her special world.

Mac thinks she is through the worst, that she has nothing left that she could lose. Oh, how wrong she it. Moning has weaved one hell of a tale here. Forget that it has fae and a seriously large world of paranormals, this is damn good storytelling. Even after another year of reading some truly amazing books, this remains one of my all time favorites.

The Audiobook: Wow. Bone melting, wow. The narrators are switched up here and all of the good. Natalie Ross has taken over for Mac, and immediately she has to dive into some seriously steamy scenes. She does it so well, that… nevermind. Then there is the new narrator Phil Gigante who is the voice of the men and most importantly Jericho Barrons. Two words, holy shit.

Best. Narrators. Ever.

Narrators: Natalie Ross and Phil Gigante       Length: 12 hours and 16 minutes

BY - November 13th, 2012 - Books - Leave a comment