Archives for posts with tag: Movie Reviews

Reviews of movies we viewed for Mom’s birthday party on this past Monday: “Stan and Ollie”. You DO have to be passingly familiar with Laurel and Hardy movies from the 1930s to fully appreciate the film, which I’m not and Tom is. There are moments of humor—they’re really like their slapstick movies in real life—but ultimately it’s a sad story. In their heyday, when they were the most popular comedians in the movies, they didn’t get paid well by their producer, didn’t get paid at all for reruns, and therefore were perpetually financially strapped. As we meet Stan and Ollie in the present story, it’s 1953 and they’re desperately doing a tour of England to raise interest in a prospective new movie, which a producer is attempting to finance. For viewers interested in the subject matter. Not a bad movie, but not particularly uplifting, either.
Downsizing” starts with a high-concept SFnal premise: technology has been perfected to shrink people to six inches tall. Why would they do this? Being six inches tall stretches your dollar a thousand times so that the $150,000 equity the protagonist (played by Matt Damon) has in his over-mortgaged house becomes worth $12 million in the community of “small people” where he plans to relocate. The story should have stayed focused on all the complications becoming irreversibly ”small” would entail. Instead the story veers off in odd directions and strays from the premise so much that this viewer had trouble remembering the benefits and limitations of becoming small and how the Big World interacted with them. Sadly, only for the curious. I was disappointed.
Yesterday”, on the other hand, is a delightful high fantasy concept that stays true to its premise until the very end. A talented but failing young musician is hit by a bus (literally) when the entire Earth goes dark for two seconds. (I don’t mind a good deus ex machina; I’ve even used a few DEMs in my books and stories.) He awakens in a world subtly changed. The first change he discovers is that no one knows who the Beatles are, knows their music, and only he can remember the melodies and the lyrics. When the realization dawns on him, he does what any sensible person would do. He runs home to his computer and googles “The Beatles,” only to keep getting pages listing insects.
The premise raises in this viewer the question of social context: how would Beatles’ songs fare in a world without Beatles? There a scene near the beginning in which our musician sits down at a piano (he also plays guitar) in his parents’ living room. The parents, deeply skeptical of his creative aspirations, listen as he expertly starts the opening chords and begins to sing “Let It Be.” Before he’s gotten through the first line, the doorbell rings, an equally skeptical neighbor comes in and sits down, the musician starts again, the neighbor’s cell phone chimes. And so on and on. He never does get past the first line. The scene is meant to be humorous, a send-up of how distracted we are these days and also that context thing—will anyone ever listen to the musician even though he’s singing “Let It Be”?—but I wanted to reach through the screen and smash everyone’s freaking phone.
In sum, “Yesterday” is a very enjoyable film and recommended for light entertainment. I wanted to see the copyright permissions on the Beatles’ songs (got it—who holds the rights now—I have my own reasons for finding out) and so kept the film on through the screen credits at the end. Huge bonus—over the end credits, they play Paul McCartney singing “Hey Jude.” Well worth the wait even if you’re uninterested in the copyright permissions.
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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.
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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.

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Thank you for your readership!

 

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!

We decided to kick back last night with some movies and a pasta dinner.

We saw “Deadpool,” which was an unexpected worldwide hit. This is a Marvel Comix movie that is something of a spoof of Marvel Comix movies. It wasn’t nearly as laden by profanity as the reviews said and not nearly as slapstick. We liked it. There was an unexpectedly serious, sentimental subplot.

Next up was “Stir of Echoes” with Kevin Bacon in the lead. This film was released the same summer as “The Sixth Sense” and also is a supernatural thriller involving the dead. Not quite as compelling as the bigger film, but enjoyable enough if you like that sort of thing.

Finally, since I’ve been writing about Peter Sellers, we saw “The Mouse That Roared.” Tom saw this as a child when it was first released, I’ve never seen it. This is a very gentle comedy with Sellers again playing three roles. The satiric premise is that the smallest country in the world, facing financial problems, declares war on the United States, intending to lose and then collect reparations.

So there you have it. Altogether, a pleasant time was had by all. Today, back to work!

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!

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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)
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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.

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