Category Archives: movies

BAD AMC, BAD

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Sorry for my absence, it has been a busy couple of weeks. So, let me give you a brief run down on what I’ve been up to.

Movies; time traveling sci-fy with Bruce Willis in Loopers. How would you react if you were faced with the task of executing your future self? Creative and entertaining. I don’t know why this film got negative reviews. I can only assume that those who didn’t like it, don’t enjoy science-fiction. Probably out of theaters at this point, look for the DVD release for home viewing.

Skyfall with Daniel Craig as bad boy, 007. A salute to 50 years of Bond. I thought this was an awesome flick despite the extremely uncomfortable distraction of a freezing theater. I mean, really frickin’ cold. I had a sweater on and 20 minutes into the movie I had to slip into my coat and was still freezing. And, no need to worry about the baby seated next to me, once the movie started his own mother wouldn’t have been able to hear him cry due to the excessively loud volume that seems to be the norm for this set of theaters. Seriously, I’ve been to rock concerts that were quieter. AMC 16 in Burbank, California, SHAME ON YOU for such poor customer consideration. Despite the convenience of your location, I’ve decided to seek another venue to re-visit this movie and view future flicks. One that is not an AMC Theater.

Make it a Misfits marathon. Which is what I did this last weekend thanks to the Hulu Plus streaming through my son’s Playstation. The British comedy, horror, drama, sci-fy didn’t impress me with Season 1 until I viewed the last few episodes which baited me into watching Season 2. Then I was hooked. This series is for mature audiences only and always ends up with at least one gruesome death per episode. Some of the characters are a little difficult to understand and there are quite often cheeky references that are lost on me. But, despite that, I find most of the story lines engaging. Misfits is dark, twisted, clever and sometimes surprisingly shocking for this puritanical American. Just started watching Season 3. Can’t wait to see what’s in-store for my favorite characters.

Food; The SmokeHouse Restaurant located across the street from Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank. 4420 W. Lakeside Drive. This old school steak house still fits the bill when I’m craving a nice piece of red meat, just don’t order the twice baked potatoes… terrible.  Here’s a little history on this establishment taken directly from its web page.

Established in 1946, The SmokeHouse was built at the end of WWII and is one of the few L.A. restaurants still in existence from that era.

The original restaurant was located at the corner of Pass and Riverside avenue and seated 46 people and was enjoyed by local luminaries like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Jim Stockton was the promoter and front man for the restaurant with Jack Monroe as the head cook. The Smokehouse was so successful and packed with customers that they soon began looking for a new building. In 1949 the Smokehouse moved to its current location. Built beside the world famous Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, California, the SmokeHouse is a favorite hang out for actors, producers, and anyone else in the industry. In the 60’s it was common to come in for lunch and find the place filled with costumed cowboy and indian extras having lunch.

Let me not forget Thanksgiving!  What kind of a holiday gathering be it without someone going off like Mt. Vesuvius, hum?

Once again it was a veritable feast of comfort foods with the family gather for a late dinner at sister, Cindy’s house. My turkey looked a “work-of-art” and everything was moving along perfectly until I burned the buttered almonds for my Green Bean Almondine. Then it spiraled down from there as exhaustion and an aggravated shoulder injury had me teetering on my last nerve. It only took a few of the men folk to question a simple request, to set me off. I exploded, uncontrollably, in what can only be described as a “South Park” moment, the top of my head blowing-off  like an erupting volcano, spewing forth sarcastic remarks and obscenities.

 

Thank goodness, sister Cindy saved the day by having us immediately perform “The Thanksgiving Feast Song”  http://youtu.be/2BZcSDY70IA

I have provided a link to the video for your amusement. You may have to copy and paste. Enjoy!

 

My Webber BBQ roasted/smoked turkey

Whew!!!! What a ride!

Until next week, buy  “Made in USA”

~ K.L. Parry, author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom.

 

Dust Up! Indie-Film Fans

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Hey Folks!

Today I want to put in a plug for the Independent Film by Ward Roberts…, Dust Up.

Hang me for missing out on tickets to the World Premier Screening on Sept.28th. (What a Dork I am!  Hum…, maybe I could make San Diego?) But I was happy to see that it will be available on Hulu Plus and Netflix in October.

Yeah! for Ward, the cast and crew that has put in a gizzillion hours to bring us this kick-ass, horror-comedy-grindhouse-western.

Starring Amber Benson of Buffy-the-Vampire fame and a cast of colorful characters.

“A one-eyed vigilante with a dark past has vowed to change his ways, trading his machine gun for a yoga mat. But when he encounters a beautiful young mother (Benson) in deep trouble with a cannibalistic drug lord and his evil goons, he realizes that justice must be served. Teamed up with his smooth-talking Native American hipster sidekick, our hero rides into the badass brawl of the century.” – Stolen from Dust Up Film.com

“Want a movie that is hilarious, original, shocking, heart-felt and action-packed with crazy colorful characters, mind-blowing music, and too many memorable moments to count?

Maybe? Hmm…how about if we include an homage to the Princess Leia/gold bikini scene from Return of the Jedi featuring the one & only Amber Benson?” – Snatched from Indiegogo

Go to Dust Up Film.com for more information. Lots of cool stuff there! Become a Dust-er on Indiegogo and become a supporter of Indi-films!

DUST UP on the BIG SCREEN!

  • September 28th – LOS ANGELES, CA – DUST UP WORLD PREMIERE – SOLD OUT!
  • October 3rd, 2012 – DALLAS, TX – Tickets!
  • October 6th, 2012 – JOSHUA TREE – Tickets!
  • October 11th, 2012 – AUSTIN, TX – Tickets!
  • October 11th, 2012 – Chicago, IL – Tickets!
  • October 17th, 2012 – MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Twin Cities Film Festival. Tickets.
  • October 17th, 2012 – SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Vortex Room! Learn more here!
  • October 18th, 2012 – SAN DIEGO, CA – Tickets!
  • October 18th, 2012 – INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Tickets!
  • October 26 – Nov 1, 2012 – BROOKLYN, NY – Tickets!
  • November 1st, 2012 – TAMPA, FL – Tickets!
  • COMING SOON…screenings in SAN DIEGO, LAS VEGAS, PALM SPRINGS, BOSTON & MORE!
  • REQUEST A SCREENING in YOUR neck of the woods!
    See ya next week!~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

 

It’s Not What I Recalled!

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Sorry, pressed for time. But I did make time to go see the latest re-make of one of my favorite Schwargneer movies, Total Recall.

 

 

If you’ve never seen the original, you’ll probably like this one. If you have, you’ll be disappointed as I was when I discovered how they’ve changed up the plot. I would have loved to have seen an updated version of this sci-fi, action adventure which is what I expected to see after watching the previews.

Don’t be looking for any mutants or alien technology cause this version doesn’t have any of these other than the three breasted woman. Plastic surgery, not mutant. Though they’ve retained the character names and some aspects of the original, the settings have changed and so too some of the main aspects of the plot.

 

Don’t be fooled. This movie has very little in common with the original and quite frankly, I feel cheated.

I just got this one message to send out to all those script writers, directors and producers. Don’t change the plot when you already have something that works! Please! I hate it when you do that! Which is why I have stopped paying money to go see re-makes in the theater. I reserve those for Netflix rentals if at all.

 

 

Really, I can’t even say whether you should go see this or not. It’s just not what I was expecting.

 

K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

 

Avengers: Uber Rockin’ Awesomeness!

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There has been some controversial talk lately and I’m going to set the record straight, once and for all.

Yes, I do go to the store in my jammies. But, only occasionally and it’s usually very, very late at night.

Ha, ha!

Well, I do hope everyone did something nice for someone’s mother this week. And, though I worked on Mother’s Day my youngest son did not escape his yearly duty. That is, to reassure me that I am the best mother ever. So it was, that on Monday, the day after Mother’s Day, I was treated to a 3D viewing of “The Avengers”.

Whooo hoooooo! What a ride. 

Hey! I have finally reached an age of maturity that allows me not to care about what people might think. I took a small pillow with me. Yup. It was bright red and I carried it all the way from the car, through the parking structure, into the outdoor mall and right up to the ticket window. OMGoodness, why did it take me so long?! Such a simple thing that would have allowed me years of theater seated comfort. And you know what? I’m gonna do it again.

The story picks up where previous Marvel theme movies left off starting with Loki, (Tom Hiddleston), Thor’s wayward foster brother, stealing an ancient relic of great power , the Tesseract, that was recovered from the Nazi’s by Captain America in the movie by the same name. All hell breaks loose and Nick Fury, (Samuel L. Jackson), of S.H.I.E.L.D., an international peace keeping agency, sends his agents out to enlist the help of the world’s super heros. We find Captain America, (Chris Evans), trying to adjust to life in the 21st Century, Iron Man, (Robert Downey Jr), along with Pepper, (Gwyneth Paltrow), at his side unveiling a new clean and sustainable power source and the Hulk/Bruce Banner, (Mark Ruffalo), rendering medical aid in a third world country. Black Widow, (Scarlett Johansson) is the one sent to bring in Bruce Banner who I am not-surprisingly, unfamiliar with because I didn’t see the latest take on the Hulk which is where she and Hawkeye, (Jeremy Renner), were introduced. I’m not sure who Hawkeye is either, other than he can shoot an arrow blind with uncanny accuracy.  And, might I say that Scarlett totally rocks her super spy character.  Watch out boys, this girl is a scene stealer. Thor, (Chris Hemsworth), enters the story as the concerned brother who wants Loki to  come home but he soon discovers that his brother won’t relent and joins the Avengers in their cause to stop Loki in his quest to rule the planet Earth.

I want to ask this. Who’s idea was this super-sized combo pack?

 The Avengers is awesome, and in 3D it is uber rockin’ awesomness! It blends characters and stories into one cohesive super pix filled with action, phenomenal CG works and great writing or was that just Downey ad-libbing? I don’t care! I loved it!  I want to see it again. 

Do tune in to next week’s post at “Following The Dream”. You’ll find a link to the right on this page, (providing that you’re not reading it from your phone or e-mail). I have pretty cool news to deliver on that front. In the meantime, go see The Avengers. 3D if you can!

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of “The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

Monsterpalozza

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Last Friday, the 13th as it happened to be, I was perusing facebook when I came across a post for a monster convention. Monsterpalozza. I was immediately intrigued particularily because it was being held at a hotel a mile down the road from me.

Creature from the Monster Museum

“But what?” you say. “You didn’t think I liked horror.”

You’re right! I don’t like horror movies with blood and gore and little dolls that chase after me with small knives. I especially don’t watch anything that has possessed people climbing the walls, spinning their heads or pulling others into their televisions. But I can admire the art in the crafting of these creatures from conception to form.

Unfortunately for me and you, my readers, I was unable to draft a companion into accompanying me. Most of my friends require a signed invitation, several pleading phone calls and a two week notice…, lol. Thus, my solo attendance meant that I had no one to suggest that I might want to make notes on the pictures I was taking. See how I conviently place the blame on a nonexistant person to avoid accepting responsibility?  So, my deepest apologies go out to those of the craft for any mislabeled photos. Of which their undoubtly will be many if not most.

I’d also like to add that I am NOT a professional photographer. So no comments about my lousy camera work. Ha!

 

Crown Brush - vendor for theatrical cosmetics and applicators

Vendor, special effect

Artist, Allen Williams - Ijustdraw.blogspot.com

Killer Clown

Some Steam Punk from Jesse Gee Arts - Vendors Booth

Didn't I see this in the movie "Hugo" ?

Vendor's Booth

Vendor's Booth

Vendor's Booth

Avatar - Special Effects

Vendor's Booth

Vendor's Booth, sculpture. This one still creeps me out!

An American Werwolf in London by master sculptor, Mike Hill.

Scary Clown Booth

Vendor's Booth

Another museum creature and a Terminator hand, I think?

Yet, another creature in the museum. It was dark, sorry!

Master Sculptor Mike Hill recreates life-size Jack Pierce, a legendary genius in horror makeup and the artist for Boris Karloff's makeup as the mummy.

Close up of wax sculpture of Boris Karloff as the Mummy,by Mike Hill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep it real if you can’t make it with wax.

~ K. L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

Hunger Games and The River, Episode 5

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Hi de ho, there! Welcome back to Fun Stuff Blog and Reviews.

In my attempt to avoid brain implosion this week I picked up the YA novel, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. As a novelist myself, I don’t usually like to read the works of others while I’m composing my own but sometimes I just need the escape.

This post apocalyptic, dark adventure is set in a future where society at large is under the rule of the Capital, an elite sect that controls it populace with fear and the yearly reminders of what can happen to those who may oppose it through  a televised fight for survival called The Hunger Games. The country, having been divided into 13 strictly guarded districts, is forced each year to participate in a lottery where one boy and girl from each of these districts, between the ages of 12 to 18, is chosen to compete. The goal is to be the last survivor.

The story is written in the first person, as the character of a sixteen yr. old girl by the name of Katniss Everdeen who, after having lost her father to a mine explosion years earlier has had to provide for her family which consists of her severely depressed and detached mother and younger sister.

I honestly don’t want to divulge much more of the details since I don’t want to spoil the discovery of some truly touching story telling. But, I will tell you this book had me sniveling and looking for the kleenex pretty early on. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a few issues with Suzanne Collin’s writing style.

I found the present tense, first person awkward at times. It was too rigid and interfered with the flow of certain passages causing me to lose focus on the emotion of the moment to re-read what had been written. But for the most part, I was  engaged and really felt an empathetic connection with the character of Katniss.

I know that a film version of this novel is going to be released in March, I think. Not sure if you want to see the movie first, before you read the book, as most screen adaptations can’t measure up to the original author’s story. It’s your call. But if you enjoy a dark and stirring tale, The Hunger Games is a must read. I’ve already handed off my copy and once the rent is paid, will be heading back to Barns and Noble to pick up the sequel in this trilogy, Catching Fire.

And of course, this blog wouldn’t be complete without a re-cap of tonight’s episode of “The River

“The River” Episode 5

I’m a on the fence with this week’s episode of “The River”. Here’s how it went down.

Unfortunately, I tuned in 6 minutes into the action catching the intrepid crew of the Magus desperately trying to avoid a collision with an on coming ship. It’s night and in their attempt to avoid being hit, they run aground while the mystery ship just seems to disappear.

The Magus’ engines suffer a critical failure due to the crash which forces Tess to man the radio in an attempt to find help and the parts needed to repair their ship.

And as I predicted in last week’s recap, our newest member, Jonas, is questioning Lena about her relationship with Lincoln. She, of course, insist there is nothing between them.

So, after a 12 hour marathon stint over the radio, Tess finally raises a response from a near by ship and they quickly come to the rescue. It’s dark thirty on the river…,ooowh!

It is the Exodus, manned by a crew of four, that shows up to lend aid. The grateful crew of the Magus invites its rescuers to stay for dinner while Jahel and her father work at the repairs.

In the meantime, Lena and Jonas think they have spotted someone else aboard the Exodus and set out to investigate.

Hired gun, Kurt, becomes suspicious of their dinner guest, confronting one and even capping the guy several times, but he doesn’t die.

On board the Exodus, Lena finds her father, member of the lost Cole expedition, Russ Landry, locked below, in chains.

It turns out that the Exodus is some sort of ghost ship and its four passengers need to find their replacements before sunrise in order to finally leave the cursed ship. They almost succeed until Lincoln and producer Clark along with cameraman, Shaun come to the rescue with only minutes to spare.

Alas, our poor Lena must leave her father behind when he reveals to her that he is already dead. In tears she watches him disintegrate as the ghost ship goes up in flames.

The episode ends with Russ Landry’s epitaph on the screen which kind of threw me and forced me to search the internet to assure myself that the character wasn’t a real person that had actually died during the making of the series…, lol.

Not to say that I didn’t find this installment interesting but I would have liked to have seen more of the scary ghost instead of the two lightening quick flashes they gave us. And why didn’t Jahel pick up on the fact that she had a bunch a dead people on the ship. She is our physic connection. Shouldn’t she have sensed these things?

We did learn that Russ obviously got separated from Emmet Cole but we weren’t given a clear indication of why, only that they had lost the Magus somehow. And again there were references to the SOURCE and that Cole seemed to have become possessed by something that would cause him to disappear from the ship at odd times.

Well, quite murky goings on here, but I will be tuning in to see what happens next week. Until then, when you have the choice, buy MADE IN USA. Tired now. See ya later!

~ K. L. Parry ~ author of “The Pirate’s Daughter And A King’s Ransom”

HUGO VS. SUPER 8

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Hi there and welcome back to my Blog. Well, I had a lot of things on my “to do” list today including working on my latest manuscript. However, all that went by the wayside when my roommate, who also happens to be my youngest son, was given the day off from work. Since my bedroom/office is also the livingroom and the location of our only TV you can be certain that anything I wanted to do that required solitude was not going to get done. So instead, I spent the day watching movies.

First I was off to the AMC Burbank Town Center 8 in the Burbank Mall to see “Hugo”, directed by Martin Scorsese. Let me say this for the theater, OUCH! My back, my ass and my legs were killing me! This theater is in much need of a remodel. The old style, immobile seating was unbelievably uncomfortable. Hey, Scorsese! Cut loose with a few bucks and adopt a theater. These people need some new seats so the rest of us can better enjoy your movies!

OK, now back to my review.

Movie Poster

This is a story about Hugo, a boy, who having already lost his Mother at some earlier time, now looses his father. Suddenly the boy’s life goes from one of family security to that of an orphan, abandoned by his only living relative, a drunk and slovenly uncle, to live out his existence in the clock tower of a railway station. Left to maintain the clocks so that his shiftless uncle can do as he pleases, Hugo is forced to fend for himself, stealing what he needs to survive from the station’s vendors.

Set in Paris, France sometime near the late 1800’s (I think), this film was visual eye candy for me. I also thought the characters delightful and I was particularly fond of the glimpses of those that worked at the station. But I must say that the story itself lagged for me at the beginning. I kept asking myself “Where is it going?” However, I was a bit, very small bit, intrigued and willing to wait it out. Then somewhere in the middle of the film it flip-flops and the story changes focus. Suddenly it’s Ben Kingsley’s character, George Melies, the toy shop owner, who becomes the focus of the story. The action picks up, his story unfolds then the movie rushes to an ends with a predictable dilemma for Hugo that is quickly resolved. I was left feeling that poor young Hugo was abandoned once again, but this time by the story line.

Johnny Depth is one of the film’s Producers so for this reason it may make it into someone’s personal library. But not mine.

Home from the theater, I made myself dinner and then my son presented me with a couple of rentals, one being “Super 8”, directed by JJ Abrams. This was a film that I had wanted to see at the theater but never did and I don’t remember why?….

Image from Movie Trailer

Super 8 is a story about a middle-grade boy and his friends who are determined to complete the filming of their Zombie movie. After sneaking away from their homes late one night, they arrive at a deserted railway station to work on their film when a horrific train accident occurs right in front of them. They then discover that the accident was no accident after all and are sworn to secrecy until frightening and unexplainable things begin to happen in their town.

Ye, ha! This film had my undivided attention from beginning to end and that spectacular beginning was the most awesome car flying, exploding containers and fiery debris train wreak I’ve ever seen. There were also some wonderful subplots dealing with, yet another, parental loss and a boy falling for a girl.

I really do so wish I had seen this one on the big screen. It is a great middle grade and YA flick that’s fun for the big kids too. I don’t want to say too much more  other than that I loved it and intend on purchasing my own copy to nestle beside my Goonies DVD.

Until next week, keep it real and buy USA!

K.L. Parry ~ Author of “The Pirate’s Daughter And A King’s Ransom”