Good morning, y'all. I hope you had a lovely weekend. Are you ready to get rolling? I am. I've got fictitious space marines to be mean to this morning. Let's go!
Vampires are actually my least favorite movie monster. This doesn't mean I dislike all vampire stories. I don't. I'm simply super picky about them. In any case, here are my recommendations. The first is a mother/daughter story that spans centuries, Byzantium.
Yesterday, I read an article about a professional film critic that gave up on horror movies. I have to be honest. Most of the reasons he sites are, in fact, ones I agree with. I'm one of those viewers who doesn't sign up to be terrified or grossed out or to indulge in torture fantasies. Every genre has its fashion phases. It's clear to me that the things I enjoy about Horror aren't in fashion any longer. It was clear a decade ago. And that's why I stopped reading and watching for the most part. (Yes, even Stephen King.) Every once in a while I check back in. Every once in a while someone recommends a film that is so spot on for me--like Cabin in the Woods or many of the others I'll mention/have mentioned over the next month. However, I very much relate to what Kenneth Turan said.
This world does not suffer from an overabundance of empathy. We need more, not less.
The things I enjoy in Horror are the psychological character studies--the deep thoughts on what it means to be human or a human monster. (Discomfort is a part of that study. I agree.) I enjoy dark humor. Creepy and spooky and altogether ooky? Sure, sign me up. I'm so in. Darkness can be thrilling and fun.
I'm not up for an experience that keeps me up for several nights running. I don't want horrifying images of violence done to the bodies of women, children, and pets just for kicks. I don't want to witness individuals valiantly and fruitlessly battle against traps in which there is no means of escape. I'm not interested in more religious intolerance and bigotry. There's enough of all of that shit in real life. Why wallow in it? To be honest, I have trouble understanding those who do and are. Yes, there are stories that need unhappy endings. I'm good with those. ZOMG, I loved the film The Mist (2007) and no, it doesn't have a happy ending. (Interestingly enough, the short story did.) Speaking as a writer, endings are difficult to do well. Happy endings are easier. Unhappy endings take even greater finesse in order to be satisfying.
Anyway, I thought it was interesting to see a critic's take on modern Horror. So often when someone denigrates a genre it comes off as Old Man Screaming at Sky™. And I suspect there's some of that in there...but overall, I believe he has a point. It's why I won't watch what I call Torture Porn. What about you?
 Hey, so not my thing, but to each their own. As long as no one is harmed I won't judge.
I can't believe we're halfway through October already. I'm happy--because this means that this morning was genuinely cold and I hope not to have to turn on the AC unit all day. (Oh, Texas. [sigh]) It makes me sad too because I want October to stretch out for a bit longer. Oh, well.
Let's get busy with the links, shall we? (I've got some writing to do.) We'll start with the new Black Panther trailer. I can't wait.
Public Service Announcement: I'm having a Goodreads Give-away for Blackthorne, starting October 16th. I'll be giving away three hard back copies, signed. (The give-away is restricted to the United States, y'all. Sorry. The postage is just too much for a big fat Epic Fantasy.)
If you're interested, check-in on Tuesday over at Goodreads for details. Good luck!
So, Stranger Things has a new trailer and I'm going to drop it here before I talk about today's films.
It still looks great, but now I'm wondering how long they can drag this out. (Yeah. Yeah. Shut up, Stina. ;)) And now, on to those movies in no particular order.
October is my favorite month of the year. There are certain things that trigger happy October feelings for me. The first is when the temperatures finally dip into the high 60sF and low 70sF. Then there's breathing in the first scent of fire in someone's fireplace. (It took the place of burning leaves when I moved to Texas.) Then there's reading Something Wicked This Way Comes. And then there's...
Practical Magic. Of course, Practical Magic. No film is perfect. It has some issues, of course--largely in the representation department. (There are no women of color featured in the story. And I can't recall any people of color at all...except maybe the dead guy...maybe.) That said, I dearly love this movie. It's about sisters, family legacies, secrets, women's issues (domestic abuse, motherhood, sexuality...) and the power women can have when joined together for a common cause. Also...love. I've always appreciated how it avoided the stereotypical witch tropes. I'm pleased that someone actually may have spoken to an actual witch, did some research, and may have attended a circle once. It isn't enough. This time of year is horrible in that it propagates the stereotypes that are so damaging to women in general and pagans specifically. Yes, yes. It's all in good fun...that is until someone loses their job because "witches are evil right?" Anyway, Practical Magic.
I'm excited about Netflix's latest super hero project. Netflix's Newest Superhero Drama Is About a Single Mother and Her Super-Powered Son. That looks so good!
Did you know that pink used to signify male? I didn't understand that using pink to signify the gender of girl babies is less than a century old. I have noticed that worrying about whether or not strangers get the gender of babies correct is more of a thing than it used to be. (Hell, my own sister is making a big deal out of gender marking her puppy.) I get why it's important to not miss-gender adults, but babies? And it kills me that the same exact adult will blithely ignore the gender preference of adults and then get really exacting in addressing baby genders. (We can't have that boy mistaken for a girl, can we? That might de-masculinate him. Masculinity is fragile, after all. [eyeroll])
Why do I have a feeling that we've just been given absolutely every scene that features Wonder Woman in the entire film? Probably because this movie was shot before WW grossed all the money and everything has focused on Batman up to this point. (And still does.) [sigh] That said...is it bad that I still want to see this version of Aquaman?
It's October. My favorite month of the year. And every year I try to do something to celebrate. I'm in the midst of a novel deadline this year. So, I can't go too enthusiastic. Therefore, I'm going to talk about some my favorite Halloween/Spooky/Dark films on Fridays--films I'd be watching if it weren't for work, family stuff (my Dad is very ill)... you know, the usual life things. So, let's get to it. Shall we?
My first favorite for this time of year: Something Wicked This Way Comes.
Something Wicked This Way Comes (both the novel and the film) has some problems, of course. Published in 1962, it holds deeply problematic ideas regarding disability. But, as you can see above, it has some amazing moments. The cast is fabulous. Alas, Disney screwed up the ending. Read the novel first then watch the film.
I found Tom Petty as a young teen because of his duet with Stevie Nicks. ("Stop Dragging My Heart Around.") He was one of my crushes. The Postman remains one of my favorite films (in spite of Costner making one of the only post-apocalyptic novels with women doing useful things in it into a he-man, manly fest of manly) because Tom appeared in it. When I first came into the goth scene, the man I wanted so much to impress sorted through my music collection and placed all of my Tom Petty with the fluffy pop stuff in the To Be Sold pile. Mouse that I was, I quietly moved Tom Petty off that stack and back onto my shelves. (I did the same with a few others.) A year later, I convinced my goth circles of Petty's amazingness. And I did it with American Girl and Silence of the Lambs. Of course, the video for Mary Jane's Last Dance backed me up shortly thereafter.
Tom Petty was with me through so many transitions in my life--my first breakup, my first apartment, moving to Austin entirely on my own--I found myself over and over through breakups and low times. Tom was always there in the background like the steady, reassuring whir of highway on a long drive. I'm going to miss knowing he's out there. At least I've his music. Thank you, Tom, for that. Seriously, Thank you.
Too many of my music heroes are dead now. David Bowie, Prince, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Chris Cornell, Layne Staley, Kurt Cobain, Andrew Wood, Scott Weiland, Doug Hopkins, and Stefanie Sargent. Someone please place a protective bubble around Stevie Nicks, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Patti Smith, Joan Jett, Chrissie Hynde, Peter Murphy, Gary Numan, Aimee Mann, Toni Halliday, and Elizabeth Fraser. At least don't let 2017 touch them. Please.
 He looked askance at me for my Alice in Chains, Stevie Nicks, and Fleetwood Mac, but I turned him around on those too.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.