Random Friday


I managed to watch all the new DVDs, but I still have a couple on my ToWatch shelf. I was keeping them for when I’ll be able to write the story of my centurion vampire, but maybe I should just watch them and then re-watch them whenever I feel like writing about him – although, I killed him off… mm, one more reason to watch those two Ancient Rome movies, then! πŸ™‚

Anyhow, I saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Just a reminder that I’m NOT a Harry Potter fan – haven’t read the books, haven’t seen the movies. I had glimpsed it on a plane, but then Techie Bro said he was looking for it, I saw it at 5euros (well, 3DVD for 15euro, so I got that one, Deadpool and Suicide Squad) and ended up watching it.

Totally oblivious of where it came from, although I had the vague idea it was based on a book (actually, a guide book, but I digress. The screenplay was written by The JK Herself, so it’s as if) and suspected it dealt with the little sorcerer’s world when I heard Hogwarth mentioned in the opening, but well… it was okay. At least it was a grownup young man, not a child going to wizard school! πŸ™‚

I’m still sorta tired of those special effects that tear down buildings and put them back together, but the creatures were fine. Funny even. And I watched the making of cause I was curious about the effects behind them. So it was okay, I might watch the sequel! πŸ˜‰

Then I got Black Panther since I was curious. And yeah, it was good fun and another one of the last cameos of the late Stan Lee. Loved all the black characters and of course Michael B. Jordan has grown a lot since Hardball, but I couldn’t watch him in Fantastic Four, so glad I got to see him here! πŸ™‚

I guess that’s all for this year… I’ll watch the last two DVDs next year, they’ve been sitting on my shelf for at least two years anyway, along with the TV mini-series V (1985) that I bought way back in 2008 in London… not in a rush, no! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend!

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Random Friday


So, I managed to watch a couple of DVDs of competing universes! My reader’s loyalty goes mostly to Marvel, since I used to read Fantastic Four and Spiderman in the 1980s, and for that reason I don’t watch the movies based on those comics (okay, I did see the first Spiderman movie but hated it, so now you know why).

My movie-watcher loyalty is probably evenly split. I did see the first Superman (and the 3rd) in theaters back in the 1980s and possibly a couple of Batman (I think the George Clooney one because I had friends who liked him and the first Christian Bale because hey, Iceland!), but the rest was on DVD.

So, after most X-men movies, I got Deadpool out of curiosity… and yeah, it’s not politically correct, he talks to the audience, he’s an asshole, but… meh. I totally hated the fake Colossus (as much as I hated the fake Spiderman moving around) and I’m not sure I even liked the storyline. Yes, it changes us from the usual politically correct straight heroes, but… dunno.

On the other side of the fence, I mean, the other universe, I watched Suicide Squad. Villains turned heroes. That was actually a cool idea! Yeah, they’re batshit crazy, but they did save the world! And Will Smith in a bad-guy-turned-hero version was almost unrecognizable at first. And I did see Hancock.

So I probably won’t get Deadpool 2 (unless it’s in the discount bin), but I might enjoy a Suicide Squad 2, if there’s such a thing. As for the comics… I’m trying to empty my bookshelves and I read comics only on paper, so… I’ll just skip that! πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


Since I like watching movies un-dubbed, I almost stopped going to the cinema. Then somewhere in that country that almost looks like Italy but it’s not (they’re twins, both starting with I and ending with A, but for some things they are different) they are coming up with a new system I’d love to see everywhere – although I probably would never find enough people to have an original version screening, but you never know, there are plenty of foreigners in Rome…

So check this article on India’s movie-theater-on-demand model. It does feel like the future! Instead of streaming on smart-TVs or laptops, we could see movies on big screens like before tablets and the likes! Maybe I’ll be able to book a theater viewing with that app or a similar one eventually…

In the meantime, I’m sticking to DVDs. Because I don’t have a smart-TV and don’t want to watch movies on my laptop. So while looking for some “old” (1980s/1990s) Italian movies at the local Feltrinelli, I got myself 3 DVDs, since it was 3x15euro – nice deal! As soon as I watch them, I’ll let you know.

Since Holidays are approaching, here are a couple of gift ideas, for both writers and readers. First, you can pick your choice of Holidays Gifts from WMG Publishing – either the Gift Box for Writers or the Gift Box for Readers.

Or you can check this company that brings books to life on shirts and tote bags. The collection includes designs ranging from Jane Austen to Edgar Allan Poe and can be viewed here https://literarybookgifts.com.Β And guess what? I got a promo code for you! CREATIVEBARBWIRE20 is good for 20% off anything in the store, no minimum, and does not expire.

So there you go! You can start your Christmas shopping, for you and your loved ones! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday


One more Movie Friday… and there might be a third, since I got the last DVD. Hopefully I’ll watch it sometime this weekend (tonight if I manage to finish Current Novel Part 2). So, in order of watching them…

I’ll have to rewatch the sequel with the first one, but I think the second is okay too. Mostly because they put back in my favorite songs of the first, LOL! Anyhow, I’m talking about Rock On 2, with the dead guy in the dream sequence only and the guitar player with the worst haircut evah! Moustache in the first, bad haircut in the second… my my, Arjun, can’t you do better? Not your fault, I know! πŸ˜€

Farhan is always Farhan, and I was glad to see Shraddha Kapoor again (after ABCD2 – she must be subscribed to #2 in series). And now I’m singing Rock On and Sinbad the Sailor in a loop. Heh. I liked the first song of the final mega-show in Rock On 2, so there you go:

Now, Exposed… kinda lacks a closure for both characters, but whatever… Did I mention last time that I hate the Italian title? I wish IMBD stopped showing me the translations. Or I should stick to Bollywood that almost never gets dubbed (at least not the Greek God, mwhahahahahaha). Anyway, it was okay. Not going to rewatch it until I learn it by heart like I did with other movies, but okay.

Now getting ready for the weekend… have a nice one! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Bundles, glorious bundles… Vampires of the World is available for pre-order as is Mythic Tales. Both have one of mine (erm… 2 in the first case…) in the lot.

In the vampires bundle you have Rajveer and Kaylyn (what else? πŸ˜‰ ) and in Mythic Tales, there’s Beautiful, the sleeping prince with a puppy disposition awakened by the stray cat adventurer who happened to kiss him awake.

I have received the proofs of Shashank and Honorable Assassins, and one I’m going to redo it – slightly reformatted the bonus stories. As soon as I get the new proof, I’ll probably send the book live so I can order a copy for the cover artist.

On totally unrelated subject, I watched the DVD of John Wick Chapter 2 and the deleted scenes… one of them was shot in EUR, next to the office! How did I miss them? Drat! Anyway, it was nice to watch it again with its mix of Italian and English! πŸ™‚

Now I can wait for Chapter 3… along with Da Other Muse’s movies if he decides to get back to work and stop modeling and endorsing products and making training programs and all that other stuff that has nothing to do with acting… πŸ˜‰

Oh, and the sale has begun… on all retailers! 99c/99p only until Sunday! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


I don’t know how I missed that I had won (ex equo) one of the categories of the fan fiction fling! Thanks for the badge, Jo! I shall ask you to beta-read again whenever I write something set in the US, since my proofreader is British… πŸ˜‰

On total randomness… I watched another movie, and it made me cry – much like Hardball. This one is French, though, and I had seen the posters, but I don’t go to theaters anymore because in this country everything is dubbed, so I waited for the DVD, haha. Demain tout commence (sorry, don’t know the English title, only the stupid Italian one) it’s about a man dealing with sudden paternity – just one, not three like in the more famous counterpart (the French original, never saw the American version, sorry).

It’s a dramedy, and I still think Omar Sy is gorgeous! πŸ˜‰ It’s also set in London, so you got some English inbetween the French. Again, I don’t think I’d have liked it dubbed (unfortunately all the extras were dubbed, but whatever)… but it was great in its original version. If you want to cry, that is! πŸ˜‰

And speaking of King Arthur again, I’m finally reading a book that was in a bundle that I bought almost two years ago from Storybundle, and it’s another version of the legend. Again characters are changed in unrecognizable ways, and we even have the evil albino trope. I would have happily lived without that one.

I know there’s a whole subgenre of Arthurian fantasy that revises those old legends, but it’s not for me. I enjoyed Jennifer Robertson’s version of Robin Hood, but I usually stay clear from those medieval legends revisited, because I’m quite familiar with the originals and often don’t like what authors have done to them. That’s just Reader me, of course! πŸ˜‰

You albino readers, avoid the Camelot Papers and wait for my own post-apocalyptic book that has an albino woman who is NOT the villain, quite the opposite, yay! And there will probably be more in the series, but I haven’t started thinking about the rest since I still need to touch up this one, LOL!

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Help a writer to avoid foreclosure. If you’re a reader, you might know her books better than I do – I’m sure I’ll read one sooner or later, maybe we’ll be together in a bundle or something. Anyhow, if you have $$ to spare, go help Adrian Phoenix! πŸ™‚

I still haven’t (re)watched John Wick Chapter 2, but I got the DVD of Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword… mostly because it features two of the original Queer as Folk, Nathan and Stuart! πŸ˜‰ But then it’s been almost 20 years and of course both have changed (or grown up in the case of the younger one)! πŸ˜€

I also watched the extras and I can tell Charlie Hunnam was an enthusiast for the movie. He said he grew up with Excalibur (which is about his age, but well… he’s British, so makes sense) which I happened to see in theaters because I’m slightly older than him (just a tad. What’s 15 years against eternity? ;)) – albeit dubbed in Italian.

But I saw the trailers in England (my first very first trip to England in the summer of 1981, before the Royal Wedding of last century) and looked forward to seeing it in Italy. Mostly because in the trailer Nigel Terry looked just like Oliver Tobias in my beloved Arthur of the Britons.

So, I’m more or less familiar with the legends even if I’m not British. My mom loved the chansons de gestes and studied them at university, and sort of passed on the love, even though my love for history and the Middle Ages is much much recent than Excalibur.

I saw most of the recent versions of the story, including Clive Owen‘s King Arthur and a Marvel comics graphic novel called Camelot 3000 (in the 1990s). And Guy Ritchie’s is the most fantasy of all. It has some nice British humor, but I’m afraid Mom will hate it even more than Excalibur when I show it to her! πŸ˜‰

But if one watches it as a fantasy with very famous names like Vortigern, Bedivere (an African one? The horror! Although Djimon Honsou is gorgeous, of course! :D) and Percival, it’s fine. Of course there’s Excalibur in the rock and the round table, sort of. A friend of mine even hopes for a sequel… *rolls eyes*

Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

 

 

Random Friday


Total random stuff. I watched the French DVD I got in Paris and it was as funny but sad as expected – a family dramedy with a happy ending. And I rewatched Any Body Can Dance 2, just for the dancing, since there’s no real story in that series, LOL! Which, considering has me mixing a European and an Asian movie and enjoying both for different reasons, takes me to the next random topic, cultural appropriation.

I read this wonderful article on whose culture is it anyway, and what about hybridity and thought the author made great points. I’m Italian, but I grew up in France and Switzerland, in an international town (Geneva) with people from all over the world, then came back to the Eternal City and hated it.

Still today, almost 40 years later, I get irritated when I’m pinned down as Italian and asked if I do this or that – I don’t. I feel international, I love a lot of stuff from a lot of countries and I don’t think it’s cultural appropriation. When I write, I try to be respectful of whatever culture I try to cover and to find people in that culture/religion who can help me fact-check. *waves at beloved cover artist*

But sometimes I’ve stumbled on such harsh cultural appropriation articles that condemt it completely, that I almost felt guilty to try to write a story of humanity as a whole and not as a single ethnicity/religion/race. I was even irked by the clearly European and tattooed young woman who visited the Taj Mahal with a sari (maybe I was envious, LOL!).

Thing is – I’m not trying to appropriate anything. I’m enjoying the diversity of this crazy world. And soon I’ll start on a projection of our future, it will be utopia (with a dark side) but I intend to put a society where skin color doesn’t matter and the borders are no more. You might call it globalization, but it’s still a post-apocalipse story, hehe! πŸ˜‰

So I plan to have black people, Asians and white people all living together and not being bothered by race or religion. They’ll have other problems to face! πŸ˜‰ And I’ll try to come up with a culture that is a fusion of all we have today (it’s set in the 22nd century, so plenty of time to develop that) plus possibly something original.

Mission impossible? Probably. We’ll know at the end of August. Have a great weekend! πŸ˜€

 

Random Friday


Rest of the trip! When the workshop was over, I got back to reading the novel I had to drop in January. Fortunately I had reached the end of Book 1 by then, so starting Book 2 was okay. Except one night I was thankfully kicked out of the book by a mistake that wasn’t caught by the author(s) or the editor(s)…

This is Ocean: The Ocean Cycle Omnibus and since it’s a bestselling author, I don’t think I’ll ruin his reputation if I comment on this (besides Goodreaders seemt to be quite divided about it all, haha!). So at one point there is a discussion about ancient sea divinities by a so-called expert (the character) who totally mixes up Greek and Roman names.

Here’s the complete list thanks to Encyclopedia Mythica. In the book, Poseidon and Aphrodite are the Roman names and Neptune and Venus the Greek ones… Gee… I’m glad I overdosed with both Greek and Roman myths in childhood (one more reason to hate what they did in Troy, I know enough of the Iliad and Odissey to know they completely f…ed up – beside using a gorgeous 40-year-old instead of a 20-year-old. Achilles died young, as was often the case back then! Me and my friend were the only one laughing in the movie theater, though. Sigh.)!

So, unless it was meant to be a joke, here’s a good way of throwing your reader out of your story… I got back into it, but the second book is getting weirder and weirder. I will finish it, but it’s not on my recommended list! πŸ˜‰ I might even quit at some point, since I bought books during the trip and the TBR pile is now enhanced with more dead trees…

Then there were the movies. Not during the trips, not until I got to Long Island, when I saw John Wick: Chapter 2 with my friend. Glad it was still in theaters. And glad to see it NOT dubbed (and wondering what a mess they might have done for this country’s distribution – probably missed all the bilingual dialogs!). I guess for a chapter 2 it’s almost as good as chapter 1. Maybe even better. Still have to think about that. And of course, it opens the way to chapter 3…

Anyhow, both me and my friend were happy because we recognized most of the places where it was shot (New York and Rome). I’m glad Riccardo Scamarcio dared to be the bad guy, although my Italian friend who likes him might not think so. But then, my favorite Hrithik’s role is still Aryan, the villain of Dhoom 2, so…

On the way back I watched Gayal Once Again on the Alitalia flight, but I must admit it took me some time to figure out the story. They all looked the same to me! Nobody was good-looking enough for my tastes and there was only one song – had it been cut? since I could not sleep I also re-watched Something’s Gotta Give – only certain scenes since I had broken my headphones during the flight and didn’t want to ask for a third one (the first I was given was faulty). You can guess which ones (Julian Mercer is Keanu at his best looking, LOL! Pity he’s only a secondary character)…

I enjoyed visiting Boston, although it was a rainy and gloomy day, so I’ll have to go back eventually. My friends were all were kind and I hope to do it again in the future. Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Okay, I had time to watch a movie during the weekend, so I finally finished the box set my sister lent me in December. The last to watch was Elysium, which wasn’t bad, but again it sees a future with no middle class, while I still think we might be headed to a middle-class-only society. I know it doesn’t look like that but if you check that Quantum Run page, there is hope in the future! πŸ˜‰

I’m going to quote a sci-fi author (from the Finnish Worldcon progress report):

I’m also confused by the fact that such a large part of recently written science fiction is very pessimistic. It worries me particularly that in SF aimed at children and young adults, dystopias have become the popular and most frequently published subgenre. I myself am naive enough to believe that we would feel better if we could read about a future that is worth living in. I’m also naive enough to believe that we currently have all the information we need to create such a future. Why, then, do so few science fiction writers nowadays describe this kind of alternative? This remains a mystery to me but it would be nice if more writers were to even give it a try.

– John-Henri Holmberg

I agree with him. Time to write more optimistic futures! Even if the present is so bleak. Last week I was asked which sci-fi worlds I like to escape to, and since I’m old, I gave original Star Wars trilogy, original Star Trek and original Battlestar Galactica… and then this week I learned that Richard Hatch is gone too.

So I’m posting his autographed photo from Torino Comics 2012 when I was very busy being Happy Fangirl Barb with Terry Moore, but also got to meet him.Β  In case you’re a newcomer, you can read all about that here. I hadn’t posted the photo back then, so here it is now.

tocomics2012Anyway, it is well-known that I don’t watch TV anymore. Apparently da Muse went to the Italian TV for his next movie (coming out today in the US, next week in the UK) but I didn’t see him either (but then, I didn’t even see him when he came to Rome to shoot some scenes last year, LOL!).

Hope this weekend to watch another movie, if not, well… March! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

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