Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Fragmented Mirror ~ Our Characters

  One of the biggest occurrences a writer can experience is the discovery of who their character truly is. For years I've worked on my fantasy trilogy, desperately trying to uncover who my main character really was. Always I was leaving off with, "Maybe this is who she truly is." But I knew that it wasn't entirely the case, that I had only, yet again, felt the surface. In a lot of ways, a false surface. She'd shed her skin once again. But when you go through draft after draft year after year, either through feeling insane or at a loss, you can't help but wonder if your character is just some wild thing that acts on its own accord, whether or not you really know her.

  It's taken almost--if not completely--eight years for me to realize a part of who Alexis is. And I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I wasn't ready to know, for the longest time. I hadn't grown enough. But yesterday, I discovered a part of it--discovered the perfect words for who she is, at least, to me. She's my hero. Because she is the complete reflection of the part of me that is the rough, ragged soldier that keeps going. She is the part of me that rises from the ashes of my own self destruction and slandering that makes me ask, "Why the heck are you still getting up?" when I'm really down. The part that just looks me in the eye, takes my hand, and keeps walking. We have a journey to make. And not all the time in the world to get there.

  I was so excited when I realized that, I leapt out of bed and scribbled it down on a piece of paper. (I always have paper lying around, it's inevitable).

 But I will add that I still don't know her. My closest character (not my oldest, but the one closest to me) she may be, and there are things about her that I know. I know that she loves her family, that she struggles with getting back to them. She fights to believe that her dad will come back home. She wonders why she was put in a strange world, when she had no idea what her purpose was even at home. She likes fruity things more than chocolatey things, and loves to hear people's stories. I know that the sun rises and sets for her, as it does for the rest of us. But the rest is a mystery. She is herself, fragments of a mirror of myself. I have no idea when her story will be complete. What course it will take. Storytelling isn't so much a science, as it is a tap into your lifeblood. Perhaps what comes out means something.

  ~ Elora Shore

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Mummy: Tom Cruise?

 A couple days after it came out, I went to see the new Mummy movie. I was dubious about restarting the franchise...or continuing it, however you wanted to look at it. And I was especially doubtful of Tom Cruise as a main character. Cruise is a great actor--I just don't think he fits every action movie.

  What I have to say about the movie pretty much is that it was a bad movie--but it really amused me. What intrigued me most was that they didn't force Cruise as a hero. He really wasn't--he was a self serving thief who sometimes did something right.

  The imagery was cool in a lot of scenes, but the storyline itself was a big weird. They took weird elements they wanted to add to the movie and while I was impressed and greatly amused at one of them, I can't say it worked incredibly well. I won't spoil it for you in this post, so I won't go into great detail. My primary reason being Henry...the most interesting tool in the storyline, but perhaps too strange and awkward of one, considering the setting.

  Ahmanet was interesting, in that her appearance was cool...her presence was sometimes just a little chilling, but I was more intrigued than anything. However I dislike part of her storyline. In the original Mummy, the villain was a priest come back almost as a god to wreck havoc on the world. Ahmanet is a freaking bride of a coming god. Good grief why does she have to be a bride? Why couldn't she be in the impersonation of a goddess? Or the making of a new one? Why does she have to be a bride, a lesser evil? And sure I'm sure some anti-feminists, etc., will comment on this but I'm just saying. (Personally I don't give myself any labels). I don't think ultimate female power has to always be catered to, but in this case I dislike Ahmanet being the lesser evil. Less cool. It doesn't serve the legacy of the movies. I was so looking for something better. I suppose this was used because of Cruise's storyline, but I thought it took too much off the first movie, only in reverse. I would have liked to see more creativity in this area. You understand why it only got a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.

  And the whole story arc of Tom Cruise's character Nick (Jake Johnson's character Chris was funny because in his role on New Girl, his character is named Nick, so hearing him call someone else that name, with his particular voice, was funny) was kinda awkward. It was interesting in some ways, but mostly weird. Especially the end. I didn't really buy it. It just seemed like a way to carry on the series. And not in a way that will best serve the franchise. And Ahmanet's end was way too easy. Please. Give us a better bad guy, if you're going to try to keep going with this.

  Overall I'd give this movie 3 out of 10. The effects looked cool, the villain looked cool in a lot of it, but story was just not well executed. But I will say a big thank you to the makers for not pushing the whole hero arc with Cruise. They didn't even pretend he was one. He was just a guy, caught up in madness. So thank you for that one. It added a little bit of reality to the whole shebang. So at least there's that.

  ~ Elora Shore

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Review~ Finally!

Well it's about freaking time! I've been so excited about the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I meant to see it when it came out, but I took an impromptu trip with the family, so I was more than happy to miss it. But before I get ahead of myself, spoiler alert! I'm going to be babbling about the whole movie, including all the juicy bits you don't want to know yet. Come back when you've watched the movie and tell me what you think!

  To me, this is the movie we would have liked to see after the third installment. There were a few amusing things about the fourth, but it wasn't a great story. I think it goes to say that Jack Sparrow is definitely the best at what he does--being the side  character that infuses the story, not being the main man. Sure we love seeing him--but seeing him move along the storylines of other characters seems to be his real calling. He is the calling bird to the lives we wish we could have.

  I LOVED that the beginning was carried by the oath of Henry Turner swearing to free his father. It just makes so much sense to carry the story this way. Infusing it with the characters that originally made it great, or at least the continuing story. It's the family tradition to go to Jack for help. And being disgusted with him, and under-enthused. One thing I didn't really care for was how they threw Corina's character in there without much explanation. At least a very meager one. They rushed with introducing her character, and getting the new "troupe" together. Overall though, it was still an amusing beginning, with a particularly memorable "almost" hanging and beheading. That will go down as one of my favorite scenes in the series.  Arguing about who should go first with last words, who was getting it worse--and in one of those fantastically absurd moments Jack is repeatedly at the seesaw mercy of the guillotine. Man I was dying. This movie definitely has much of the tone I was hoping for in the fourth film.

  One thing I didn't really like was that I felt so much of the characters' backstory was told through dialogue. Some f it I liked, part of it felt stilted, but for Corina the eventual payoff was actually great. The way that it happened was beautiful. Barbossa's daughter? Really? And a scientist to boot. Just the effect on Barbossa was beautiful. And the story of Salazar's rage, his curse, and the making of Jack Sparrow--that was great! A fitting origin story for them both.

  Dead Men Tell No Tales was a nice addition. Not as smooth as the originals, but worlds better than the fourth. And while I thought that this was going to be the final installment, they've actually left the door open for another story, with the original characters. Because yes, they succeed in freeing Will, and reuniting the whole family. And Corina and Henry? Well what would you expect to happen? I am thoroughly happy with this story. I just pray that it isn't the last--I am a strong believer in the possibilities of this series. Regardless of what happens, this movie both sets the stage, and gives us closure. Well done.

  Oh, and one last thing. Since the theater lights went back on I figured there was no end credits scene. Well there was, and I was able to find it. I won't say anything (except of how much I love Will embracing Elizabeth in sleep--oh the sweetness!) just enjoy. And give a big thanks to janzwing for providing it.


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