Lightyear – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2022 film Lightyear.

Story

This was a great concept. A movie about the real Buzz Lightyear. The character is the basis for the toy in Toy Story.

Unfortunately, there are some issues with this sort of story. People are expecting a movie about the cartoonish and silly character. This means that people who only care about Toy Story might be turned off by the science-fiction elements, while people who love science-fiction might be turned off by the the association with Toy Story.

That being said, this is an excellent adventure / science-fiction film with influence and nods to so many other great films.

Score: 1

Characters

The character of Buzz is only changed a little from the toy; his silliness is toned down, but he’s still brash, overconfident, and single-minded.

The rest of the cast, although not as fleshed out, are fun and have rewarding story arcs.

Score: 1

Dialogue

There are plenty of references to both Toy Story and classic Sci-Fi. With so much reference material, it could easily have been a quote fest that left people feeling like they missed something. The writers did a great job balancing the quotes and the original story. To a point that they’re great for those that know, but pass over other’s heads.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

I was in awe of the space scenes, and pretty much all the animation. Pixar ups their quality with every movie and I love it. Beyond the animation, the cinematography is fantastic and references so many other great movies. The shot of Zurg’s ship rising from the floor was just like Vader’s in A New Hope, the airlocks look just like those of 2001: A Space Odyssey, there were plenty of others too.

The music was epic and had just the right balance to be remarkable but not overpower the action.

Score: 1

Fun

The fun you get from this is definitely influenced by your expectations. If you’re expecting the tone and feel of Toy Story, you’ll be disappointed. I went in expecting cheesy sci-fi and was surprised by how much fun it was.

My five and three year old both loved it and sat through the whole thing without complaining. The rest of the family seemed to really love it too.

Score: 1

Overall

The movie is a retro sci-fi with all the best parts from the movies of the genre in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. It’s delightfully littered with Pixar and Sci-fi references and has a fun and heartwarming story.

Final Score: 5* Stars out of 5


*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.

Health Update Video August 2022

Transcript of Video

Hi!

I decided to try to record a blog post and that way I don’t have to worry about typing long blog posts; so today will be all about my health issues and how I’m doing. 

For those of you who don’t know, I’ll put a link in the comments, right HERE and you can see everything that’s been going on. 

But effectively in June, I started having massive arm pain in this part of the arm and this part of the arm, on both sides, and my doctor diagnosed me with tendonitis and possible carpal tunnel. I was scheduled to go to do some more tests for carpal tunnel specifically; I just got those last week and good news: I don’t need surgery! 

It looks like I don’t have any issues with carpal tunnel; the carpal tunnel specialist said that he thought maybe there was something muscular. 

My physio, which I’m seeing three times a week, is helping a lot. 

She’s a godsend. 

She thinks it has something to do with my ulnar nerve. 

Basically, all this is telling you more tests, more time. 

Meanwhile, I’ve been following the proper procedures and filling out workman’s compensation forms. 

Oh my gosh! 

Filling out forms when you have tendonitis hurts. Pencils, typing… 

Thank heavens for Jen. 

If it wasn’t for her, I would be having a lot of trouble right now. 

Beyond that, I am doing better. 

It’s been a month and a little bit and it’s no longer a burning, sharp pain. 

It’s now a burning ache, and if I don’t do too much, which means not going on my phone. 

too much, not typing too much, not cooking too much, not changing too many diapers, that kind of thing, I’m OK. It hurts, but I’m…

The problem gets when I’m trying to do something. 

So at the end of July I didn’t want to break my own rules and fail on the serial story, so I typed 1000 words over three or four nights and it was hard

I’m not going to be able to go back to my 3 to 5000 words a week that I used to do, and that makes me really, really sad. 

Hopefully with Physio, by the end of August, I’ll be able to do a little bit more, but until I know for sure what’s going on, I don’t know. 

I’m also really nervous about going back to work and doing document formatting, which basically means I’m doing short keys and mouse clicks for anywhere from 4 to 8 hours a day. 

And yeah, that doesn’t sound like much fun right now. 

My doctor has me going back on September 1st. 

I’m hoping that I’ll be OK to do that. 

I’m hoping my work will be OK with giving me a little bit more leeway in getting my stuff done. I have no idea what’s going to happen and it’s kind of scary. 

Right now, I am concentrating on the things that I can control. 

Those being slowly, carefully, roasting coffee for Ottawa Comic Con. It’s going to be the first convention, that’s going to be in September, the first convention that we actually get to sell at since COVID started and I’m terrified

Not only because I’ve heard so many stories of people getting sick at Montreal Comic Con and other conventions, but also because I have no idea if roasting and preparing for a month… Like, so much stock is going to be sold, or if we’re going to leave with a negative… I’m just hoping to make back our table. 

That’s my basic goal. 

We’ll see; and I guess my other big goal is not to get sick. On that front, Pegasus has gotten his first shot at the end of July. We’re hoping to get the next one by the end of August, early September, so that he’s covered when we go to Comic Con. 

He’s not coming with us, but if we’re going to bring anything back, which is always a possibility, I don’t want him to catch this thing after 2 1/2 years! Gah. 

So back to the health stuff. 

My doctor gets back on Tuesday, which is tomorrow when you guys are watching this, and hopefully he’ll have some sort of diagnosis for me or another series of tests, which I have a feeling I’m going to be doing a lot of those in the future, which sucks. 

And I really miss typing. 

It’s my stress relief. Even like just basic typing is my stress relief. 

I was really enjoying the stress relief of playing ukulele, but I… I’ve barely touched it. 

Although I did dust, literally dust, the ukulele the other day just because it looked sad. 

All that to say that I am nervous but I’m getting better and I am trying to prepare for Comic Con, so hopefully my doctor will be able to fix things, and my physio will help me fix things and I can get back to writing novels.

Speaking of novels, check out Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers

Well, I hope you’ve had an enjoyable time learning about my pain. [Fake sobbing]

I hope you’ve learned a little bit about what’s going on, and I hope to see you at Ottawa Comic Con.

Bye.

Book Mood Board

I had fun looking for pictures that made me think of the book Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers.

And I thought, why not share it with you?

Mood board of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers. Pictures of a black motorcycle, a stargate from Stargate SG1, a metal pineapple, a cottage, a street sign indicating Westmeath is to the right, a fun-looking mushroom, a stuffed bear, two croissants and a coffee, and a dessert pizza surround the front cover of the book, art by pinkpiggy93, layout by Nathan and Mackenzie.

Summary

Kennedy Fairfield just graduated in the class of 2002, and is now trying to find her purpose in life, or at least a job in her field. When she saves Jason Johnson, the leader of a secret Community of supernatural people called Aetherborn, from an attempted assassination, they embark on a whirlwind epic romance and adventure.

For Kennedy and Jason to discover why people are disappearing in time to save her friends, they’ll have to face teleporting assassins, grumpy wizards, gossiping hags, mafia robots, and secret military groups, all in the city of Westmeath, Ontario, which has more secrets than residents.

The first book of four in The Gates of Westmeath series.

Pre-order Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers now!

Fear Street 1978 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Fear Street 1978.

Story 

This is my favourite of the three. It feels like a good old-fashioned slasher with an added supernatural twist. The framing narrative of the other movies doesn’t intrude as much.

Score: 1

Characters

The younger versions of the characters from the first movie were perfectly cast. The surreal feeling of the trilogy shines here.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Definitely felt off, but not as bad as 1994. I found despite the supernatural elements, the dialogue was delivered pretty well.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

This felt oddly undersaturated compared to the other two. I liked the predominance of red in the caverns though.

The music was a lot of fun and felt like a nod to Supernatural.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I liked this one a lot. It was exciting and fun. I enjoyed the camp hijinks and the off-kilter world.

Score: 1

Overall

The strongest of the trilogy, it could stand on its own. The characters are fun and I love the mixture of lore, supernatural, and good old-fashioned slasher.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

Jason Mood Board

I had fun looking for pictures that made me think of the main male protagonist of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers, Jason Johnson.

And I thought, why not share it with you?

Jason Johnson mood board. Pictures of a black domino mask, a black figure in a martial arts pose, a black and silver motorcycle, a hungry man’s breakfast, a Hawaiian pizza, a black suit and tie, and a raw peridot as a pendant on a necklace all surround two images of Jason, one in profile and one as The Phantom, drawn by pinkpiggy93.

Jason Johnson

Age: 25

Date of Birth: November 8, 1976

Appearance: Shaggy dark hair, hazel eyes, tall, golden brown skin

Job: Owner and operator of a pizza restaurant The Hawaiian. Head of the Oldtown Council. Aka the Westmeath Phantom, a vigilante with the power to manipulate and control shadows

Parents: Hammond and Monique Johnson, deceased.

Sibling: Younger sister Zoe is married to Gabrielle and they have one daughter Brooke (15 months old)

Pre-order Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers now!

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 7 (Serial Story)


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 7: Meeting the Guardians

With the gem and the little gates taken care of, I thought we were safe from their influence. I was wrong.

Before we left Earth, Randi and I asked Noa to marry us. We’d been together for centuries of Earth time and couldn’t bear the idea of separating.

We left, wanting to avoid seeing my siblings, we decided to see what Albion was all about. We arrived and were amazed by the rolling green hills, crystal lakes, and absolutely sublime nature. It was a realm of green and growing things.

“Hello, can I help you?” asked a man that looked strikingly like a younger Merlin. Instead of looking ancient, he looked like he was in his sixties. His hair was streaked in white and his skin was a healthy brown instead of grey.

“Merlin? How are you here?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, but I don’t often meet people in the proper temporal order. Nice to see you again, Lord Robin. I’m better known here as Emris. I’m the Guardian of Reality.”

I stared, blinking awkwardly until Randi elbowed me and said, “I’m Lady Randi of Fay and this is my husband, Lord Robin.”

“Oh.” He bowed. It felt strange for the wizard to bow to me. I’d been a god, a first born, and a lord, but Merlin was the stuff of legend.

I tried to find some words, but was distracted by a woman walking quickly towards us. She was young, maybe fourteen, and still had a slight roundness to her face. Her skin was golden and her hair was pure black. Her eyes glowed with anger and seemed to shift from dark brown to red when she saw me.

“What the hell is that gate doing in my Aether?” the woman demanded.

“I thought the Aether would dispose of it,” I replied, caught off guard.

“It won’t. That thing is made of pure order. It’s not from our universe and it’s slowly creating a pocket reality around itself. Get it out!”

“Lord Robin and Lady Randi, this is Iman. She is the Guardian of Aether.” Merlin introduced us, suppressing a smile.

“Why would the force of magic and chaos need a guardian?” I asked, confused.

Putting her hand on her hip and scowling Iman replied, “For exactly this sort of situation.”

“She has you there,” Randi said with a chuckle.

Iman added, “Also for your information, Aether and Chaos are not the same thing and have two separate Guardians.”

I opened my mouth to protest, but then shrugged. “Any suggestions as to where to put it to avoid it opening and releasing a massive army to destroy all the realms?”

“I don’t care, just get it out of my Aether.” Iman looked somehow even more annoyed.

Merlin nodded and with a wide smile said, “I have the perfect place. Embed it under rock in the Canadian Shield. Wait, you won’t have any idea about that for a while. I’ll show you.” He opened a portal that sounded odd, like some great beast wheezing, and Merlin and I stepped through. 

The land we arrived at was harsher than Avalon, but no less verdant or beautiful. The trees were large and there was a slight chill in the air. I felt under me and could tell there was a natural cavern completely cut off from the surface about two kilometres down. The gate would be safe there. I pulled it from the Aether and put it in place. Without the Aether, the nascent realm collapsed into itself.

“Why here?” I asked Merlin.

“It’s pure rock and pretty isolated. Those that live here respect nature and have no need to delve that deep. It’ll stay hidden for more than a thousand years.”

“That’s oddly specific,” I said, not really surprised. Merlin only nodded and I started to ask the question that had been bothering me. “I thought Guardians were beings of great power…”

“And you want to know how a human became the guardian of Aether?”

“It seemed like a rude question.”

Merlin shrugged a little as if he didn’t believe in rude questions and replied, “What better being than a human? They are chaos and they wield Aether without ever knowing it. Humans are by far the most diverse and terrifying creatures in the realms.”

“But without powers…” I trailed off, understanding dawning on me. “All humans can affect the Aether?” He nodded. “And she has complete mastery of it?”

“Not quite, but close. She’s young, but can already wield pure Aether, something I’ve never seen anyone but the Guardian of Aether do. Also, unlike all other life in the universe, the Aether likes her.”

The idea that the stuff of chaos and magic could have personal preferences for certain people or any form of sentience was enough to scare me.

“How many Guardians are in Avalon?” I asked as we walked through the return portal.

Merlin had a look of mischief in his eyes that I tried my best to memorize. It was both charming and ominous at the same time. “All seven are here for the first time since the creation of the universe. That one was an accident. This will be the final meeting of the original seven Guardians. Would you like to join us?”

His words made sense, but left me feeling like I was missing information or context.

Randi and Iman were chatting as we arrived and I took my wife’s hand as we walked towards a modest castle.

Outside the castle gates were thousands of tents, an entire city of them. Walking between them were men and women in robes or armour. It was an army.

“Why is there an army at the gates of your castle?”

“Don’t worry. Camelot isn’t under siege. We’re preparing for war. Your nephew has a taste for conquest and he’s coming for Albion.”

Read Chapter 8 (August 2022)


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:


Fear Street 1994 – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2021 film Fear Street 1994.

Story 

This feels like a Fear Street book but with a little more gore. The end sequence of the movie in the grocery store felt like a way of killing off some characters, since they had an ambulance and could have driven around. It’s also not a complete movie.

Score: 0.5

Characters

I really liked the main three characters and even some of the secondary ones. They were all a little nylistic but that made sense with the setting. The actors were great.

Score: 1

Dialogue

Everything sounded a little too modern for my liking. It didn’t sound like the right time period. Beyond that the dialogue was a little awkward and tried to hard.

Score: 0

Visuals and Music

Dark and aesthetically perfect for Fear Street and 1994. I like the background details that were nods to the books and other horror movies.

The music did its job well.

Score:

Fun

This was a lot of fun to start with, but I got frustrated at the characters quite often. The fact that they didn’t use the ambulance instead of the store annoyed me.

Score: 0.5

Overall

A fun throwback to the books, but the characters do some really dumb things. I enjoyed it, but it feels unfinished without the rest of the series.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

Kennedy Mood Board

I had fun looking for pictures that made me think of the main female protagonist of Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers, Kennedy Fairfield.

And I thought, why not share it with you?

Mood board of Kennedy Fairfield. Pictures of a raw peridot, a black lace corset, a runway, a plaid skirt, the one ring from The Lord of the Rings, a coffee cup, a stuffed bear, a fun-looking mushroom, and a field of gold surround two images of Kennedy, one from the front and one in profile, drawn by pinkpiggy93.

Kennedy Fairfield

Age: 22

Date of Birth: July 11, 1980

Appearance: Long blonde hair, green eyes, tall, white

Job: Currently working in sales at Discreet Frills, a boutique lingerie store. Looking for work in her field of Agricultural Science

Parents: Lilah and Gerard Fairfield live on a farm in Parry Sound, Ontario

Siblings: Older brother Phillip, married and has one son (15 months old). Twin older sisters Eliza and MacKenzie. Younger brother Tommy

Pre-order Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers now!

Last Day to Vote for Jen and Dragon

Hello Friends,

LAST DAY to vote for the Aurora awards. You get books just for being a member. 

PLEASE consider voting for Dragon and Jen, who have been nominated for their amazing work on How I Taught my Dragon: Kindergarten education through genre media in the category of Best Fan Related Work.

Here are some examples of what Dragon made:

Look at this awesome art that she did as part of her school:

Effectively, it’s a guide (and results) for parents to use films as a jumping off point for kindergarten education, each week a new film with activities and learning sheets designed around the film’s themes and content.

It was designed with the Ontario Curriculum in mind and to supplement our daughter’s 1 day a week of online school. It could easily be scaled up to be a full home school, or down to simply add some extras for parents who keep their kids home.

What she did over 10 months is spectacular, both as a tool for other parents, and as a journey with Dragon.

Please check out the blog and consider voting for it in the the Aurora Awards category of Best Fan Related Work. Dragon is included as an author because her writing is included on the blog as part of the results.

Thank you in advance,

Éric

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle  – JenEric Movie Review

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Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2017 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Story

A rare sequel which is more coherent and better all around. Possibly the best video game themed movie of all time, it both relies on and mocks the usual tropes.

Score: 1

Characters

The main five actors do a phenomenal job at being the kids. It’s mostly believable and impressively detailed. Jack Black is amazing.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The problem with trying to capture the dialogue of teens is how quickly it changes. The dialogue already sounds dated after just five years. Although the quips, jokes, and overall tone is well done.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

The movie looks great and I greatly appreciate that they didn’t try to animate it like a video game.

The music is haunting and exciting all at once.

Score: 1

Fun

The five year old found it a little scary, but she loved the action and humour. It’s nice to see her starting to appreciate word-based humour more.

The rest of us enjoyed it as much as the first few times. I particularly appreciate that the humour around Jack Black’s character was so wholesome.

Score: 1

Overall

A wonderful adventure that balances action, humour, and character development for a near perfect movie.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5