And now it’s time for this week’s 15 Minute Tweet Tales word:
If a cat predicted your death, how would it change your life?
Whew, this week has been crazy! This Boob Tube Junkie was so busy I didn’t watch TV for seven whole days. I know! Surely that means there are now some demons downstairs doing triple axels in sparkly costumes. So what kept me from my beloved boob tube?
Normally I’m pretty much the homebody type, but during the month of November, the Charleston area is hoppin’ with happenings that are forcing me to break my hermit-like habits. Since these events might be of interest to fellow local storytellers (both writers and filmmakers), I wanted to share them here.
Since the months continue to whip by at a most alarming rate, it means it’s already time for another #writemotivation goal check month. I’m starting to feel a little bit like this:
We’ve finally made it to the last day of the Blogging from A to Z challenge! There were definitely days I wasn’t sure I was going to make it to the end, but I’ll save that for my reflections post next week. For now, it’s Movie Monday and the letter is Z, so you know what that means - zombies!! Which is kind of ironic considering I feel a bit like a zombie after a month of daily blogging.
I’ve always been a fan of zombie movies. Zombies may seem slow and bumbling, but their sheer numbers and determination make then pretty dang scary. Today’s Netflix Watch Instantly selection is called Zombie Apocalypse (in some listings there is a 2012 in the title). For my previous Monday Movie selections, I picked ones I’d never heard of until the Netflix ratings predictor assured me I was going to love it (and the ratings were always right). But in this case, Netflix tried to warn me off, saying, “Girl, you are NOT going to like this, turn back now, you could do so much more with this hour and a half, like trim your dog’s toenails.” Usually I listen to Auntie Netflix because her rating system really ‘gets’ me, but I had another reason for wanting to watch this particular zombie flick.
Two months ago, my short film Saying Goodbye was screened at the Beaufort International Film Festival. While there, we met a charming guy named Gary Weeks. He introduced himself as a screenwriter, but my sister thought he looked familiar, so we looked him up on IMDb. Turns out he’s also an actor who’s played several parts we remembered, including Fiona’s paramedic boyfriend from Burn Notice. We chatted with Gary several times over the course of the festival, and he was very nice; so since we are zombie fans, we decided to watch him in action as one of the main characters in Zombie Apocalypse despite Netflix’s dire prediction.
Well, the Netflix rating system enjoyed having another chance to say, “I told you so.” As much as I wanted to like it because of Gary, I was not a fan. I think Gary did a great job giving his character depth and pathos because I’m 99% sure none of that was actually on the page since the script was so bad. It was as blandly typical as a zombie movie gets - a random group of survivors trying to… survive. The dialog was cringe-worthy to the point I was embarrassed for all the actors who had to deliver the lines. And there were actually well-known actors involved in the project like Ving Rhames, Taryn Manning, Eddie Steeples (Crabman!), and Lesley-Ann Brandt (aka the gal who left the buzz-worthy show Spartacus to be in American movies. Oops!). I guess the producers spent their entire budget on hiring familiar faces because the zombie makeup and special effects were bargain basement terrible.
It wasn’t all bad. There were a few creative zombie kills, and the characters actually wore sports gear when wandering around to protect themselves from potential zombie bites (I don’t recall seeing that in previous zombie movies I’ve watched, but I’ve now added looting a sporting goods store to the top of my to-do list when the zombie apocalypse actually happens… ‘cause you know it’s coming!). Also, there was one character who got some funny one-liners, but I actually think it was more the actor’s delivery than the lines themselves. Annnd… that’s about it as far as bright spots.
So even though I thought Gary was a great guy, I can’t recommend this movie. But I will be checking out some of Gary’s other movies and following his career as both a filmmaker and an actor.
Have you seen Zombie Apocalypse? What did you think of it? Any really good zombie movie recommendations? How Zonked is Freya with her letter Z (just like I feel!)?
I imagine today is the most dreaded day of the Blogging from A to Z challenge – the infamous letter X. There just aren’t that many words out there that start with X, and most of the ones that do are pretty strange: xenolith, xylograph, xanthic. If today were Willy-nilly Wednesday, I’d just grab one of these weirdos and start babbling about them. But it’s Film Friday, and since I couldn’t find a short film that started with X, I’m going to have to cheat a little (don’t judge, I’m sure lots of a-z bloggers got creative today!). So my “X word” is eXceptional, and today’s short film is Sebastian’s Voodoo, which definitely lives up to that description. It’s only four and a half minutes long, so if you haven’t seen it yet, give it a watch:
We’re in the home stretch now – only a week left of the Blogging from A to Z challenge – I think I can, I think I can…. Today is the letter T, so on this Movie Monday, I’m talking about the 2009 romantic comedy TiMER. Here’s the Netflix description:
Today’s short film for the letter R is a cute student short called Robby that clocks in at an easy-watching four and a half minutes. The most impressive thing about it is that the animator made a worm (a worm!) absolutely adorable. Worms are nasty, slimy things, yet this lil’ guy is so charming. I think it’s the giant, googly eyes – they make anything cute.
If you have a few minutes to spare, give it a watch:
So what’s my main takeaway from this short? That I want a magical purse like Robby’s backpack! My current purse has some pretty impressive clown-car like abilities, spewing forth all manner of cosmetics and personal care items, but a girl never knows when she’s going to need a backhoe . . . or a stick of dynamite.
Like last week’s film, this one deals with the importance of determination and striving toward your goal. Robby has equipped himself with the tools he needs to dig, similar to writers learning different “rules” and techniques and styles to stuff our writing packs with helpful tools. Robby has a compass to help guide him, just like we need to map out a plan of what we want to accomplish with our writing.
I even think the progression of Robby’s tools mirrors a writer’s approach to revising a first draft. First we start by shoveling some shit around (or maybe that’s just me!). Next we kind of pick at it until we realize that ain’t getting it done. Then we bring out the big guns like drills, backhoes, and dynamite to blow whole chapters away and make massive changes. Then we’re ready for the detailed edits, the kind done with a delicate tool like a plastic spoon. Then finally, after lots of hard work, we reach our goal – the cherished completed manuscript aka top of the apple..
And the very end reminds us that no matter how hard we try, sometimes life is going to gobble us up. Oh, wait, that’s a sad, pessimistic ending. How about instead, it’s a metaphor for an agent/editor loving our manuscript and gobbling it up in one sitting? Yeah, that’s much better.
What did you think about Robby? Does his trip through the apple work as a metaphor for revising? How Resplendent is Molly with her letter R?
Babblings of a Boob Tube Junkie
I’m a writer and filmmaker exploring the magic of stories. I’ve always loved to read and watch television and movies, and now I'm creating my own stories via YA novels, short stories, screenplays, and even short films. I’m also an animal lover with a menagerie of pets; and, yes, I’m one of those people who puts party hats on their dogs and makes them “cakes” for their birthdays.
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My Short Films
If a cat predicted your death, how would it change your life?
A greedy party girl is so determined to get what she wants that she employs the dangerous magic of a Gullah root doctor.
Blogging from A to Z Challenge