Archives for category: Movie Reviews

5.8.15.LisaMason

Husband Tom’s birthday was two weeks ago, now, so I’m just getting around to comment on the movies we viewed during his birthday week: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (GoG2), Wonder Woman (WW), and Beauty and the Beast (B&B). A wonderful time was had by all.

If you’re streaming movies for the holidays, all are recommended (with tiny quibbles).

What do these three very different movies have in common—besides all being SFF movies?

–Dancing. A man (or a man-creature) and a woman (or a green-skinned alien woman) dancing. Dancing is enjoyable to do, enjoyable to watch. Dancing is a physical and visual metaphor for love. Not a lot of dancing in GoG2 and WW, quite a lot in B&B.

–And nontraditional (or “broken”) families, with an absent parent in GoG2 and WW, or a dead parent in B&B. The broken family proves to be a significant plot point for all three movies. Hmm.

GoG2 is a tad too filled with sound and fury signifying nothing. And who knew a movie like this would climax with a tear-jerker ending? For a character we don’t give a rat’s ass about until his last line, “He may have been your father, but I was your daddy.” <cry> Character logic question: Why would god-the-father, who by his own declaration is immortal, appear as Kurt Russell at sixty-ish? Why wouldn’t he appear to his son as the Kurt Russell of a foxy twenty-five, as he’s digitally remastered in the early sequence? Just askin’.

WW is a joy to behold. Gal Gadot was born to be WW, and we can only hope she won’t be irretrievably typecast—she’s a fine actress who has done other very different parts—but so be it. Tom said you feel like you know her, even though she’s a woman superhero. I’m glad to see the story developed from her early training—I can just hear New York editors yelling, “It’s too slow! Start it when she gets to Paris!” I’m a great believer in allowing a storyteller to tell her story. I also don’t mind that the movie is a bit long. For people viewing in public theaters, that could be a problem. In our home theater, the length of a movie—if it’s enjoyable and not boring—is not a problem. If we need to take bathroom breaks, second helping breaks, more wine breaks—we just press Pause. Niggling plot point question: why does our hero/love interest/Chris Pine have to blow up the plane with the poison gas and himself? Can’t he just land the plane somewhere safe, have the Allies deal with the poison gas, and live to love Wonder Woman another day? Vaguely disappointed with the Unhappily Ending.

B&B is also a joy to behold. Who knew Emma Watson could sing? The story stays remarkably true to the original fairytale, which I recently reread. The classic fairytale hits hard on poverty versus wealth, ugliness versus beauty, faithlessness versus family loyalty. The fantasy dance sequences look dazzlingly like a classic Forties dance extravaganza. My only quibble? And this probably says more about me. The Beast is more exciting than the little blond-haired prince.

So there you have it, my friends.

An independent enterprise and a free-lance writer since 1991.
I intended to sell this story to a magazine.
Tips in the tip jar via Paypal are most welcome!
Set up your PayPal account at https://www.paypal.com/us/home.
Link your bank account or credit card, then follow the simple instructions on how to transfer a tip.
Send your tip to https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/lisamasonthewriter/
Thank you!

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Summer-Love-Travel-Lisa-Mason/dp/1548106119/

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. BACK IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/Gilded-Age-Time-Travel/dp/1975853172/

One Day in the Life of Alexa. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT! Order at https://www.amazon.com/One-Life-Alexa-Lisa-Mason/dp/1546783091

The Garden of Abracadabra (So refreshing….Stephanie Plum in the world of Harry Potter.” “Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. NOW IN PRINT at https://www.amazon.com/dp/1978148291/.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands. IN PRINT https://www.amazon.com/Strange-Ladies-Stories-Lisa-Mason/dp/1981104380/!

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Cyberweb (sequel to Arachne). is on US Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Brazil Kindle, France Kindle, Germany Kindle, India Kindle, Italy Kindle, Japan Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, and Spain Kindle. SOON BACK IN PRINT!

Celestial Girl, A Lily Modjeska Mystery (Five stars) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in AustraliaFrance, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India. SOON IN PRINT!

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable cat pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

 

Advertisements

Over the Christmas weekend, we saw “Genius,” “Don’t Bother To Knock,” and “The 7 Faces of Dr. Lao.”

“Genius,” with Colin Firth, Jude Law, and Nicole Kidman, is about Max Perkins of Scribner & Sons and his editorial and personal relationship from 1929 until 1938 with Thomas Wolfe, the bestselling author of Look Homeward, Angel. I read that book in high school.

Loved the film. I laughed. I cried. I related (I once hand-delivered an overwritten manuscript in a three-foot-high packing crate.) I commiserated. I marveled at the publishing business of yesteryear, which was a far different enterprise than it is today.

“Oh pencil, oh cruel red pencil, you who obliterate the exultation of my soul, the despondency of my heart, the glorious wind-blown gold of my prose which, it sometimes seems, emanates from the angels themselves.”

(That’s my Thomas Wolfe knock-off. You like?)

I cried at the sentimental, true-story ending. Good thing I like sentimental endings.

Didn’t know Thomas Wolfe died eighteen days short of his thirty-eighth birthday of tuberculosis.

I’m glad to be alive!

Recommended.

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Time Travels to San Francisco (boxed set of Summer of Love and The Gilded Age). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Japan.

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle on  France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories (“A must-read collection—The San Francisco Review of Books). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra (“Fun and enjoyable urban fantasy . . . I want to read more!) On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Book 1: Life’s Journey On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, Brazil, Germany, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Book 2: In Dark Woods On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Book 3: The Right Road On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) and Celestial Girl, Book 4: Terminus are on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Shaken On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

U F uh-O On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

“Illyria, My Love” is on US Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Germany Kindle, France Kindle, Spain Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Japan Kindle, Brazil Kindle, Mexico Kindle, and India Kindle.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

9-16-16-athena-in-sun-2

To celebrate the Autumnal Equinox—and Athena’s second birthday, we made a pasta dinner and watched some movies. Athena is the first cat whose birthday I know. All the other cats were adopted some time later in their lives and I never found out when they were actually born. Athena mostly slept through the movies in her kitty cup.

First up, was “Captain America: Civil War.” I like many of the Marvel movies, but not all. The first “Captain America,” the first “Avengers,” the first “Iron Man” were great. “Ant-Man” was terrific. But the parade of sequels often leaves much to be desired. “Civil War” is a good example. Chaotic plot, a retread of the world’s negative reaction to the Avengers from the previous two films, quiet “personal” moments that drag, then over-the-top action sequences that last too long. Reasonably entertaining, but if you’ve got something better to spend two hours on, skip this.

Next, “Coriolanus.” Ralph Fiennes produced this modern take on a Shakespeare play, with modern warfare and settings but characters speaking in Elizabethan English. A very acquired taste that won’t work for everyone.

Lastly, “Zootopia,” an animated film entirely populated by talking animals, was completely wonderful. We like animation, anyway, and this is right up our alley. Highly recommended!

From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book). On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Time Travels to San Francisco (boxed set of Summer of Love and The Gilded Age). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, India, and Japan.

Arachne (a Locus Bestseller). On US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Barnes and Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle on  France Kindle, Germany Kindle, Italy Kindle, Netherlands Kindle, Spain Kindle, Mexico Kindle, Brazil Kindle, India Kindle, and Japan Kindle.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Book 1: Life’s Journey. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, Brazil, Germany, France, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Book 2: In Dark Woods. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Book 3: The Right Road. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. On Kindle in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and Spain.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery). On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) and Celestial Girl, Book 4: Terminus are on Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Shaken. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Hummers. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Daughter of the Tao. On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia,  France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

Every Mystery Unexplained. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tomorrow’s Child. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, Mexico, and Netherlands.

The Sixty-third Anniversary of Hysteria. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

 

U F uh-O. On BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

Tesla, A Screenplay. On US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, BarnesandNoble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords. Also on Kindle in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, and India.

My Charlotte: Patty’s Story. On Barnes and Noble, US Kindle, UK Kindle, Canada Kindle, Australia Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo. On Kindle in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, Netherlands, and Mexico.

Please visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for all my books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming works, fine art and bespoke jewelry by my husband Tom Robinson, worldwide links, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

I’ve been reviewing our film collection on video acquired maybe fifteen years ago and deciding which ones to buy on DVD, which to ditch. The criterion is—would I want to see this film this weekend? Five years from now? When I’m ninety?

Some films stand the test of time for me, others get even better. Still others are been-there-done-that, seem boring in retrospect, or have become somewhat distasteful.

We’ve got two Stanley Kubrick films in the video collection. The first, “Dr. Strangelove,” released in 1964, is a hilarious dark comedy about an unhilarious topic—nuclear world war. Peter Sellers is at the height of his comedic powers in three pitch-perfect roles—the nervous British officer taken hostage by a psychotic American general, the President of the United States negotiating by phone with the Soviet Premier, and Dr. Strangelove, a former Nazi war strategist now advising the U.S. The scene of Strangelove wrestling with his own arm, which insists on thrusting up in a Nazi salute, then tries to strangle him, is worth the price of admission alone.

There are plenty of pokes at the military and sexism. Early on, after an explanation of Strategic Air Command, we cut to the cockpit of a U.S. jet carrying nuclear bombs. The cockpit shakes a bit as we view the pilot in full gear, gazing sternly, steadfastly down. Then the camera pans down a hair, and we see that the pilot is staring at a Playboy Magazine. In a later scene aboard the jet, Slim Pickens itemizes the contents of a survival kit provided for each crew member in the event they crash-land in enemy territory. “One pair of nylon stockings, one lipstick, one pack of cigarettes, one hundred dollars in ten-dollar bills, one pack of condoms. Shoot, a feller could have himself a good time in Vegas with this stuff.”

It’s funny. The send-ups of sexism don’t offend me fifteen years later, they’re spot on.

Then I got to the second Kubrick. I personally know people on Facebook who list this film as their Favorite. I became involved in a lively discussion on a LinkedIn scriptwriters’ group about the three-act structure. Is it required? Is it overly restrictive? One writer claimed that this Kubrick film is, in his opinion, the greatest film ever made, and it has a five-act structure, so there.

The film is “A Clockwork Orange,” released in 1971. I said to husband Tom, “We haven’t seen that in a while, let’s watch it.”

I got maybe fifteen minutes in, up to the gang rape scene, when I said to Tom, “Stop it. Eject it. Ditch it.”

My sense of revulsion was visceral. Yes, it’s supposed to be dark comedy again. But for me, there is nothing even remotely funny about gang rape. I don’t really care what else happens. It’s history in my library. I don’t know why I thought enough of this film to buy it in the first place. Shame, shame on my younger self.

So there you have it. Do you have a film or book you used to love that you now hate?

We decided to indulge in some magic for Valentine’s Day and saw Houdini from 1953 with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, The Prestige from director Christopher Nolan, and The Illusionist based on a Steve Millhauser story.

Houdini is a straightforward biopic of the magician, his trials and triumphs. I love Technicolor and the fanciful costuming. A good dependable film for all ages.

The Prestige is a much darker, more complex story with a distinctly SFnal end. Very interesting and well done, but a bit of a downer. I didn’t feel that the right person won at the end.

The Illusionist is the clear winner of the evening, gorgeously filmed in Prague, with a complex plot, a compelling romance, many dark moments, but intriguing and provocative. Edward Norton was born for the part; he loves to play characters who get up on a theatrical stage and/or act in some capacity. Recommended.

So there you have it, my friends. If you only have time for one great stage magic film, go with The Illusionist. Time is precious!

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website (newly updated for 2016) for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

To recap, we kicked back a couple of times over the holidays and here’s what we saw.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Insurgent
His Girl Friday
Ex Machina
Babadook
Ant-Man
The Jane Austen Book Club
Love & Mercy

I covered His Girl Friday in the last review. Skip it unless you’re interested in 1940s screwball comedies.

Small budget films: I’ll start with Babadook. Someone on Facebook said, “Never see a movie with *bad* in the title.” This is a horror film written and directed by an Australian woman. Anthony Lane, the movie critic for The New Yorker, whose opinions I usually agree with for the most part, was much taken by this movie. So we sat down to watch. Sadly, the Facebook commentator was right. First off, when I’m relaxing to see a movie, I don’t want to see a character kill a beloved family pet to indicate how evil s/he has become. The rabbit in Fatal Attraction, which definitely showed evil, is my limit. I mean, some people eat rabbits, after all. But a dog, cat, or horse? No. Just no. Beyond that objection, I found too many scenes staged just like The Sixth Sense. “Homage” is one device; “rip off” is another. Skip it.

The Jane Austen Book Club is based on Karen Joy Fowler’s book. A fun and clever film to watch! My favorite part is when Grigg, the foxy male member of the book club, introduces a female member to science fiction. What a treat to hear Patrice Ann’s name spoken on the big screen! (That’s Pat Murphy, of course.) Grigg’s complaint—“I’ll read your books but you won’t read mine”—hits home. Will women only read romances about love and money, whereas men go for more intellectual fare like science fiction but will also try a romance or two? The publishing business still seems to be stuck in this rut. Anyway, recommended.

Love & Mercy is the story of Brian Wilson’s battle with mental illness. I’m hardly a Beach Boys fan, but I’m always interested in creative people’s lives and struggles. The film doesn’t successfully carry off Wilson’s transition from hearing music in his head (I’ve done that) and being obsessive-compulsive about composing pop tunes (who knew he was a musical genius?) to becoming a paranoid schizophrenic. But I liked the woman who saves him and marries him and their romantic story. Interesting.

Finally, Ex Machina was named by Time Magazine as one of the top ten films of 2015. Alicia Vikander is up for all kinds of awards for her portrayal of an “AI,” a truly self-thinking artificial intelligence housed in a beautiful woman’s synthetic body. The film, made for $15 million, earned $25 million worldwide, a success story if not a breakout hit. The film plays like an Omni story edited by Ellen Datlow—brilliant, intelligent, intellectual, sexy, and tactile with a shockingly dark ending. Recommended.

Next we move on to YA dystopia: Insurgent. As I wrote in a previous review of Divergent, I found the premise absurd and unbelievable. I only agreed to watch this second installment out of professional obligation. It doesn’t get better. The story is slow, the characters unbelievable, the premise still absurd, and nothing is invested in the outcome. I won’t see the final installment. Life is too short. Skip it.

Finally, international spy action thrillers and comic book movies. In spite of the fact that the film was a box office flop, we really wanted to love The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Turns out, the box office was right. The problems are many: the actors never come to life (showing a close-up of the clenched hand of a man who has barely suppressed rage doesn’t work the first time, let alone the next half-dozen times), they have no chemistry with each other or any other characters, and the attempts at humor, required of this genre, fall flat. An expensive disappointment.

In contrast, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, with the ever dependable Tom Cruise, is a totally enjoyable international spy action thriller, which turns the Mission Impossible premise upside down, to good effect. Cruise is a master of the telling look that carries a touch of humor. I think Cruise is underrated for his mastery of comedy. He’s hilarious as the male empowerment sex guru in Magnolia and even more hilarious, and pitch perfect, as the balding, pudgy, self-absorbed movie studio executive in Tropic Thunder—a truly hilarious movie. At an awards ceremony a few years ago, Cruise walked out unannounced onstage costumed as the balding, pudgy, self-absorbed movie studio executive and launched into his iconic dance at the end of Tropic Thunder. People were rolling in the aisles. Highly recommended.

At last we come to Ant-Man. What can I say? This is a Marvel Comics movie, slyly tied in to the Iron Man and Avengers franchises. With a super-technology that’s truly original, an engaging flawed hero, the dependable Michael Douglas looking very foxy indeed as the aging genius inventor, his strong, brilliant, and physically powerful daughter (who is set up for a sequel; stick around after the end credits), and humor that is laugh-out-loud funny, this is a treat. We watched it twice. Highly recommended.

So there you have it, my friends. My opinions, only. Hope they help guide you! Time is precious!

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website (newly updated for 2016) for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

Tom and I were really busy with work over the holidays—I’m talking November 2015 till now—but there were special days to relax and have a films-and-feast night. Thanksgiving—always a special day. Tom’s birthday on December 5—really a special day. Then the Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. I also celebrate the first full moon in January, for no particular reason. Oh, wait. There is a reason. That’s the day I received the check Universal Studios sent me for “Tomorrow’s Child.” Special, special day.

So we did kick back a couple of times and here’s what we saw.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Insurgent
His Girl Friday
Ex Machina
Babadook
Ant-Man
The Jane Austen Book Club
Love & Mercy

I’m going to start with His Girl Friday. A neighbor with whom we trade magazines—Frank subscribes to the Time Literary Supplement, I receive a free subscription to The Hollywood Reporter, he loves movies, I love books, so that works out well—gave us his DVD of this film, starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, directed by Howard Hawks, based on the stage play, “The Front Page,” and released in 1940. My video guide rated it five stars as a “madcap, screwball comedy.”

It’s set in the high-stakes world of newspaper publishing, the Internet of its day, and I was really looking forward to it.

Well, maybe.  I’d seen another Howard Hawks “screwball comedy,” “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant as a dizzy professor and Katharine Hepburn as the socialite who schemes to steal him away from his fiancée just because, well, she wants him as a trophy. Cary is handsome. Good puma, bad puma notwithstanding, I really hated this movie. I didn’t like Hepburn—and I liked her in “The Rainmaker”—and I didn’t find the premise funny at all. Julia Roberts took a stab at it in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Didn’t work there either.

How comedy has changed.

I was very disappointed with “His Girl Friday.” Now it’s the woman who’s engaged and her ex-husband persuades her away from her new guy. A bit more palatable, maybe. But mostly I found the film sexist, racist, ethnicist (remember when people were discriminated against for being Italian, Irish, Polish?), and just cold-hearted. A young woman commits suicide by jumping out of a window, and the film shows her lying dead on the street below. But the characters keep stepping all over each other’s lines and ignore what’s just happened in front of their faces. This is supposed to show what absurd workaholics they are. Just not funny.

The screwball comedy is still with us but in addition to the actors stepping all over each other’s lines, they’ve added nonstop profanity. I thought “The Hangover” and “Hot Tub Time Machine” had funny moments, but I wanted to take a hot shower after seeing those films. I don’t know why anyone thinks nonstop profanity is funny. I haven’t seen “Bridesmaids” or “Trainwreck.”

A well-chosen, strategically placed profanity can be very funny like in “Bruce Almighty,” a very funny sweet comedy. There’s no profanity at all in “Some Like It Hot” or the classic “The Producers” and those are very funny films that have stood the test of time (tinges of sexism linger, but I’m willing to let those go).

So there you have it, my friends. What’s funny to you?.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a  title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!

From the author of Summer Of Love (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony.
Summer of Love
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Gilded Age is on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Sony, and Smashwords.
The Gilded Age
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.
The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series,
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Strange Ladies: 7 Stories is on US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo, Sony.
Strange Ladies: 7 Stories
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, and India, and Mexico.

Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) includes all four books. On Nook, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, and Kobo.
Celestial Girl, The Omnibus Edition (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)
is also on Amazon.com in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Japan, India, and Mexico.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, reviews, interviews, and blogs, adorable pet pictures, forthcoming projects, fine art and bespoke jewelry by Tom Robinson, worldwide Amazon.com links for Brazil, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, and Spain, and more!

And on Lisa Mason’s Blog, on my Facebook Author Page, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Amazon, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, at Apple, at Kobo, at Sony, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a title, please “Like” it, add five stars, write a review on the site where you bought it, Tweet it, blog it, post it,, and share the word with your family and friends.

Your participation really matters.
Thank you for your readership!