From Renaissance Press: Join us for the AELAQ’s Read Québec festival!

Hello!

Éric will be participating in the Author Q&A on November 29 at 2pm.

Check below for more details!


Join us for the Read Québec festival! 

As a Québec publisher, we’re very proud to be taking part in the FREE Read Québec festival which will be taking place entirely online this week from November 25th to November 29th, and we’ve got some special events in store for you! 

On November 25th at 7 PM, join Renaissance author Nathan Caro Fréchette and other Québec authors for the Rapid Fire Reading series, where all authors will only have two minutes to read their excerpts, then will have two minutes to compose a collective text, all live! Check out the Read Québec website or the Facebook event to find out how to register.

On November 28th at 1 PM, join multiple Renaissance authors for some great readings, streaming on YouTube! Join the Facebook event to find out more or join us directly on YouTube

On November 29th at 2 PM, join your favorite Renaissance authors for a Q&A session where YOU get to ask all the questions! Want to know what your favorite author has been up to during the pandemic, or when their next book is coming out, or do you just want to chat with them? This laid-back, casual session is exactly what you need! Join the Facebook event to find out more, or join us on Zoom when the time comes! 

We hope to see you there!

Abominable – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2019 movie Abominable.

*This was my favourite movie of 2019*

Story

This feels like a modern fairy tale. A YA adventure story set in modern day. The story is cleverly simple and avoids so many of the traditional pitfalls. No forced love story, no double crossing from one of the kids, no parents that disbelieve. It’s about helping preserve magic and finding yourself along the way.

There are a few political issues but nothing truly problematic as far as I can tell.

Score: 1

Characters

Each of the characters, except the goons and the snakes, have a journey and growth. It’s sort of a mini found family that only exists in adventures (mundane ones like trips etc or magical one).

I like the twist with the bad guys and goon Dave is the best.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The movie has plenty of funny lines but the ones that are most memorable are the ones tied to emotions. The little conversations and moments that show both character and move the story forward.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

From the little details like the various wood grains to the big nature shots, this movie is truly stunning. Absolutely beautiful. The animation quality isn’t quite up to Disney/Pixar levels but they created some fantastic visuals.

The music is utterly fantastic. The humming and violin are suitably epic and magical.

The scene at the Leshan Giant Buddha is so beautiful and reflects Yi’s emotional journey perfectly.

Score: 1

Fun

The action always has a reason and everything is strung together in a surprising and coherent way. The movie made me smile and almost cry multiple times.

Score: 1

Overall

This is an adventure story with likeable characters that are trying to help a magical creature. It’s exactly my style of story. The few calmer moments weren’t lulls but one on one conversations that moved the emotional plot forward.

Final Score: 5 Stars*


*A 5 star review doesn’t mean the movie was perfect nor that it is perfect for everyone but it is a movie I believe is as close to perfect as possible.

Hocus Pocus – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1993 film Hocus Pocus.

Story

It’s harder for me to judge this movie’s story than normal because I’ve watched it yearly for 25+ years. There are a lot of witch clichés thrown around in this movie but it also works as a satire of the concept.

I was impressed that there were no offensive moments and it was as much fun as it always was.

Score: 1 (Admittedly not objective)

Character

The witches were wonderfully evil, narcissistic, and funny.

I’ll always have a soft spot for Dani (one of my first crushes). Max is an idiot who doesn’t think before he speaks or acts but has lots of heart. The brother-sister relationship makes him likeable beyond the typical white boy with a crush. Allison is a little bland but could have been worse.

The movie is greatly lacking in any sort of representation.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

I think I need a list of Bette Midler’s insults in this for my next internet argument. Maggoty Malfeasance and Thundering Oafs being some of my favourite. The dialogue is over the top and a little awkward but delivered perfectly. I’ve often danced around singing Amok! Amok! Amok!

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This movie more than anything defined what I thought of as what Halloween should look like. The beautiful leaves and lively decorations. Similar to home but we had more snow and less leaves by that point. I envied their lack of snowsuits.

The music is sometimes epic, sometimes silly, and always right on point.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie makes me nostalgic and makes me smile. Watching my daughter’s face as she whispered, “He’s going to light the candle.” and, “No don’t light the candle.” made my night. It was great to see how into it she was.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a classic and is both scary and funny. It’s not a perfect movie but it is a lot of fun. The sections with the kids would have made for a fun movie but the witches send it over the top in every way. I’ve watched this dozens of times and I’ll happily watch it every Halloween.

Final Score: 4.5

Half Full – The Holiday Shopping List

Hello,

So far we have filled 15 of the maximum 30 spots for the Holiday Shopping list and it’s a fantastic mix of stuff. That means we still have some room if you’re interested in joining us.


JenEric Designs and Creative Ottawa Nerds (CON) have teamed up to create a list of 30 Canadian artists and artisans that have something to offer for the holiday season.

Beyond the list, we will create a post each day in November that highlights one of the vendors.

For those of you that need holiday shopping ideas, keep an eye on this blog. The list will be up November 1st.

As more vendors join, we will add their logos to the banner.

For those of you that would like to participate please email us at JenEricDesigns (at) gmail.com Subject: Holiday Shopping List with the following information.

  • Business Name:
  • Business URL(s):
  • Description of your products/store:
  • Final Shipping Date for Holidays:
  • Sales or coupons:
  • Photos: 1 logo, 3-6 product pictures (each must be smaller than 2mb)

This will be first come first serve. We will accept a maximum of 30 vendors. No resellers.

There will be a $5 fee for being listed. All money collected will be used to boost a post on CON’s Facebook page promoting the list.

Thank you and I hope you have a happy and profitable holiday season!

JenEric Designs and CON

ParaNorman – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2012 film ParaNorman.

Story

The story is a pretty standard middle-grade mixed with zombie elements. It has a strong message and a great twist. I’m not a fan of the fat jokes but other than a few of those it was a very positive film.

Score: 1

Characters

All the characters were horror stereotypes but done with lots of heart. It’s great characterization that I ended up liking the zombies better than the townspeople.

Norman and his family are extremely believable and I have a soft spot for Neil. I definitely relate to him.

Also big props for Gay representation in 2012. Onward was banned in multiple countries for the same type of thing 8 years later.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The movie is utterly hilarious, balancing horror, humour, and heart, but it’s dialogue is forgotten as soon as it’s said.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The level of visual detail in the movie is utterly stunning. It’s beautiful even when it’s gross and grimy. The work and effect they managed is just fantastic. The blocking and camera work is so much better then most movies.

The music is suitably epic and well used.

Score: 1

Fun

My daughter loved it even though it was, “Kinda Scary”. I found that they created a great rhythm between scares and gags that helped her go from terrified to giggling. I enjoyed the adult jokes, the references to other movies, and the message that was well delivered.

Score: 1

Overall

A wonderful homage to horror movies with lots of heart and a great message. All that with some of the most impressive animation. It’s a perfect movie for October.

Final Score: 4.5

The Holiday Shopping List

Hello Fellow Small Business owners,

I’ve seen a lot of social media posts about how we should support small business. The problem with those posts is finding them again and getting more than just other business owners to look at them.

For that reason JenEric Designs and Creative Ottawa Nerds (CON) have teamed up to create a list of 30 Canadian artists and artisans that have something to offer for the holiday season.

Beyond the list, we will create a post each day in November that highlights one of the vendors.

For those of you that need holiday shopping ideas, keep an eye on this blog. The list will be up November 1st.

As more vendors join, we will add their logos to the banner.

For those of you that would like to participate please email us at JenEricDesigns (at) gmail.com Subject: Holiday Shopping List with the following information.

  • Business Name:
  • Business URL(s):
  • Description of your products/store:
  • Final Shipping Date for Holidays:
  • Sales or coupons:
  • Photos: 1 logo, 3-6 product pictures (each must be smaller than 2mb)

This will be first come first serve. We will accept a maximum of 30 vendors. No resellers.

There will be a $5 fee for being listed. All money collected will be used to boost a post on CON’s Facebook page promoting the list.

Thank you and I hope you have a happy and profitable holiday season!

JenEric Designs and CON

Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2020 movie Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Candace Against the Universe.

Story

The story was very well crafted to appeal to both old and new fans. It’s set in the middle-ish of the series and managed to balance character growth without affecting continuity. The humour is the wonderful mix of absurd and heartwarming that we come to expect from Phineas and Ferb. For a movie that has “Against the Universe” in the title, it didn’t feel quite as epic as it could have, more like a really long episode.

Score: 0.5

Characters

These are all the stock P&F characters – there’s little really new. I enjoyed the Isabella vs Doof and the development for Candace is pretty good, but being stuck in the middle means nothing too big or important could happen. (They can’t really wipe their memory again.)

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

This is the distilled power of writers who know their characters and world extremely well, but haven’t lost the love of them. The jokes are sharp and quick. There’s a lot to love from a canoe, to the absurd idea that the aliens explode, to a specific funny noise.

Score: 1

Visuals and music

Beautifully animated, if in a simple style, and fantastic music. The animators know how to use camera angles better than most directors.

The songs are peak P&F and absolutely awesome.

Score: 1

Fun

This series has been around for 13 years and the writers have only improved. It’s a fitting continuation to the show. I laughed and my daughter was glued to the screen.

Score: 1

Overall

A wonderful movie for old fans and great introduction to the show. It’s fun and funny, worth seeing but doesn’t really add anything new.

Final Score: 4 stars out of 5

Vote Travelling TARDIS and Friends

Hello My Imaginary Friends,

Please consider voting for The Travelling TARDIS in this years Aurora Awards. Voting ends tomorrow at midnight.

I’d also like to suggest you vote for Nothing Without Us for best related work and Nathan Caro Fréchette for Best Artist (Nathan is nominated for covers done in 2019 including Everdome.)

Voter’s Package

The majority of nominated works are available in the voter’s package now. Simply make an account, pay $10, and you’ll have access to a wonderful library of Canadian Science fiction and fantasy.

The Travelling TARDIS isn’t part of the package because you can access it for free on this site but Nothing Without Us is available.

The Travelling TARDIS

The Travelling TARDIS moves, with the power of timey-yarney crochet, through time and space visiting and taking pictures with cosplayers, landmarks, celebrities, and cute babies.

Okay. Go Vote!

Thank you,

Éric

Lemonade Mouth – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2011 movie Lemonade Mouth.

Story

This movie surprised me multiple times. It was well thought out and had some nice twists. There were a few lulls that annoyed me but overall I was pleased by the story.

This is basically a Band AU of Breakfast Club and I love that about it.

Score: 0.5

Characters

There was a few awkward moments and I feel like the characters didn’t get enough attention making them more caricature then they already are. However, as far as they did get they were lovely and the actors did a fantastic job.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue in this is adorable, layered, and well thought out. It feels authentic and the line, “I’m not the same person I was two months ago.” reminds me of my high school days.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

Very well shot with great stages and it avoided that “Disney Channel Sitcom” look that a lot of the original movies have.

The music was fantastic and got me to buy the soundtrack the night I watched it. Absolutely one of the catchiest and most interesting Disney Channel movie soundtracks.

It’s also great when they cast actors that can sing, dance, and play instruments.

Score: 1

Fun

This has all the fun of a band movie, with the fun of a detention movie, mixed with a happy teen drama. Honestly, I loved every moment.

Score: 1

Overall

One of the better original movies from Disney Channel. I wish I had watched it as a kid, or even when it came out.

Final Score: 4 Stars

Steam Powered Giraffe

Hello Imaginary Friends,

There’s a lots of negative things going on (understatement I know). I was having a very hard time finding a topic for a post until I remembered that it was Pride and that we should be talking about fantastic LGBT+ creators.

Steam Powered Giraffe is a a fantastic musical group featuring some wonderful LGBT+ members.

Steam Powered Giraffe is a musical project from San Diego, California. It was formed in 2008 by twin siblings David Michael Bennett and Isabella “Bunny” Bennett. Together, along with a cast and crew filled with theatrical backgrounds, the group takes on the guise of singing antique automatons and the fictional robotics company that made them.

The quirky act combines comedic sketches, improvised android banter, and original music fused with multimedia visuals, billowing steam effects, and robot pantomime.

From their heartwarming nostalgic melodies to their funky cabaret rock, Steam Powered Giraffe’s songs are memorable, infectious, and as unique as the robots themselves.

More than just a band, Steam Powered Giraffe is an experience that must be seen and heard by the entire family.

https://steampoweredgiraffe.com/

Keladry used to break into smiles and dance every time their songs were played. (She still loves them.)

They are fantastically geeky, inclusive, and positive. All qualities that are comforting in these interesting times.

Be kind to each other,

Éric