Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1980 film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.

Story

Deviating a little from the bare bones hero’s journey of the first film, this one introduces new villains and allies. It also becomes a lot more confident in its worldbuilding. It definitely leans further into the space opera in one story and the wizard fantasy in the other.

Score: 0.5

Characters

Luke starts to have a backbone and agency, which is shown as a bad thing. The romance between Leia and Han is pretty forced. Leia is portrayed less like a competent diplomat and more like an overworked leader with workaholic tendencies.

I’m also reminded that I like C3P0 significantly more when the humans ignore him.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

The dialogue is deliciously cheesy and I love so many of the lines. I get annoyed at the bargain-bin Orientalism of Yoda and the ridiculous absolutism of the Jedi in general.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

Once again the model work is utterly fantastic and the practical effects are wonderful. The camera work is great and the set are spectacular.

The music is iconic and although there’s a lot of carry-over from the first movie, the new themes are wonderful.

Score: 1

Fun

This movie is a lot of fun but has less of the hope (pun intended) of the first film. The shift in tone comes from the defeat at the beginning and the way the Jedi act like all is lost when Luke, rightfully, chooses to save his friends.

Score: 0.5

Overall

The movie is epic and the visuals amazing but it suffers from being half of a story and from a drastic change in tone that would continue in the sequels/prequels.

Final Score: 3 Stars out of 5

If Jason Johnson had Instagram

If Instagram existed in 2003, this is what Jason would’ve posted during the book Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests.

@jendesmaraisauthor

If Instagram existed in 2003, this is what Jason would’ve posted during the book “Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests”. “Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests” is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what. Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first. Available for pre-order now! https://www.jeneric-designs.ca/books-and-timeline/universal-book-links/#MIWG Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 #MonstersIncidentalWeddingGuests #JenDesmarais #authors #book #pinkpiggy93 #artist #UrbanFantasy #RomanceBook #superheroes #BattleCouple #original #booktok @Éric Desmarais @PressesRenaissancePress

♬ Magical Fantasy – Dmitriy Sevostyanov

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what.

Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first.

Available for pre-order now!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

49th Shelf Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Indigo Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Archambault Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Amazon Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Rakuten Kobo Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Apple Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests

Add it to your “Want to read” on Goodreads here!

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests Style Comps

“Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests” is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what.

Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first.

There are several other books and TV shows that have a similar style, in one way or another, to our book. Here are the images I made with all the covers of the style comparisons.

Summary

The week before Kennedy and Jason’s wedding is busy. There are cake tastings, dress fittings, a formal ball, and, as their superhero personas the Phantom and the Wraith, fighting monsters.

These behemoths are destructive, smell like snack food, and are only after one thing: Door Tech Industries technology.

Adding to the chaos are their friends and families; Jason’s grandmother has returned after having been missing for half a century, Kennedy’s mom is dead-set on keeping things traditional, and Jason’s best friend is kidnapped before the rehearsal.

Kennedy and Jason just want to get married, preferably before the next monster attack.

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

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

49th Shelf Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Indigo Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Archambault Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Amazon Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Rakuten Kobo Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Apple Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests

Add it to your “Want to read” on Goodreads here!

Star Wars: A New Hope – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 1977 film Star Wars: A New Hope.

Story

This is a Fantasy movie, set in a Space Opera setting, populated with characters from Westerns and Samurai movies. It’s a combination that shouldn’t work, but works really well. However, all the set dressing in the world doesn’t make it any less of a stereotyped hero’s journey.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are barely fleshed out archetypes and tropes. The farm boy, the rogue with a heart of gold, the strong(TM) princess, the honourable wizard knight, and the evil dark cloaked former apprentice.

The actors do a great job with what they have, but the weakest part of the movie is the characters’ motivation and personalities. (Something that improves in future movies.)

My biggest gripe is that the bad guys and the good guys treat non-human races as inferior. I’m still annoyed that the droids and Chewy didn’t get medals.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Iconic quips and quotes that are hardwired into geek culture. The movie has some amazing lines and some absolutely terrible ones.

As quotable as the movie is, its dialogue is stilted and filled with pseudo-nonsense that wouldn’t be explained for decades.

Score: 0.5

Visuals and Music

I realize that the special effects were touched up in the version we have, but the touch ups look worse then the actual practical effects. The original effects are utterly fantastic.

John Williams wrote one of the most iconic themes in film history.

Score: 1

Fun

I first saw this movie when I was in my teens. It was re-released in theatres. It was quite the experience, but watching it at home and seeing the wonder in my kids faces was great.

Score: 1

Overall

Iconic and amazing, this movie captures the wonder and joy of going to the movies in a way that every blockbuster wants to recreate. It has its problems, but it’s a great watch.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5

Speculating Canada interviewed Éric

Hello Friends, Fans, and Family,

Speculating Canada is an award winning podcast and interview series that interviews fantastic Canadian and genre personalities.

You may remember a few months ago that Jen was interviewed by the wonderful Derek Newman-Stille. You can see her interview on their website.

Well I (Éric) was interviewed last week. It was a lot of fun, and Derek is a fantastic interviewer, steering my hectic mind in a semi-coherent direction.

Go watch the interview on their website.

Stay safe and be kind,

Éric

The Secret World of Arrietty – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2010 film The Secret World of Arrietty.

Story

I found it very soothing and calm but I can see where it could be considered stressful. I remembered just enough from the books and reviews to know nothing bad happened.

The overall story is similar to the book but fairly different at the same time.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The characters are extremely well animated and voiced. They grab attention, even in the slower talky moments.

Score: 1

Dialogue

The dialogue is cute and I love the term Bean for humans. There’s some interesting thoughts on what it means to be alive and trust.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The animation is breathtaking and absolutely spectacular. I could re-watch it in slow motion and still not catch all the details.

The music was lovely.

Score: 1

Fun

I grew up reading the Littles and the Borrowers, and although I barely remember them, I still love the aesthetic.

The kids absolutely adored it and the rest of the family loved it too.

Score: 1

Overall

This is a wonderful melding of cultures, with a sweet and fun story. If you liked the books you’ll love the movie. Highly recommended.

Final Score: 4.5 Stars out of 5

If Kennedy Fairfield had Instagram

If Instagram existed in 2003, this is what Kennedy would’ve posted during the book Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests.

@jendesmaraisauthor

If Instagram existed in 2003, this is what Kennedy would’ve posted during the first portion of the book “Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests”. “Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests” is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what. Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first. Available for pre-order now! https://www.jeneric-designs.ca/books-and-timeline/universal-book-links/#MIWG Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 #MonstersIncidentalWeddingGuests #JenDesmarais #ÉricDesmarais #authors #book #PressesRenaissancePress #pinkpiggy93 #artist #UrbanFantasy #RomanceBook #superheroes #BattleCouple #original #booktok

♬ Magical Fantasy – Dmitriy Sevostyanov

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests is an Urban Fantasy Romance. What happens when superheroes plan a wedding? Monsters, that’s what.

Kennedy and Jason are ready to get married. They just have to deal with evaporating monsters first.

Available for pre-order now!

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

49th Shelf Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Indigo Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Archambault Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Amazon Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Rakuten Kobo Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Apple Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests

Add it to your “Want to read” on Goodreads here!

Introducing Secondary Characters – Others

With a wedding book, there are many characters that show up from the first book, but there are also some new faces, or at least new faces that deserve introducing. We already introduced some of the family members last month, so here are some of the other new faces that are important in Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests.

Reverend Patrick Mitchel

Appearance inspired by Sam Neill

Age: unknown

Appearance: Grey hair, pale blue eyes, average, white

Job: Reverend at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Anglican Church in East Westmeath, professor at Westmeath University (Ethics and Mythology), sits on the Oldtown Council, Watcher

Family: Niece Veronica Giles

Dr Karen Mästare

Appearance inspired by Salma Hayek

Age: unknown

Appearance: Golden brown hair cut in a bob a shade darker than her skin, light brown eyes with flecks of gold, average height

Job: museum curator at the Royal Canadian Museum of Natural and Cultural History (NCH, or Niche)

Ellen O. Door

Appearance inspired by Alicia Witt

Age: 27

Date of Birth: November 22, 1975

Appearance: Red hair, tall, white

Job: CEO of Door Technology, main office in Westmeath

Parents: Margery Door and Robin

Siblings: 11 older siblings

Carol Jenkins

Appearance inspired by Erica Durance

Age: unknown

Appearance: Curly light brown hair, average height, white

Job: Archeologist, works for Door Technology Foundational Technology Division

Sibling: Brother Jacob

Jacob Jenkins

Appearance inspired by Bruno Langley

Age: unknown

Appearance: Brown hair, average, white

Job: head of Door Technology Foundational Technology Division

Sibling: sister Carol


Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

49th Shelf Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Indigo Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Archambault Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Amazon Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Rakuten Kobo Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests
Apple Books Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests

Add it to your “Want to read” on Goodreads here!

Geek Charming – JenEric Movie Review

How This Works – Read Other Reviews

Hello Cinephiles,

Today we’re talking about the 2011 film Geek Charming.

Story

It’s a teen rom-com where the popular kid has to work with the nerd and they fall in love. I did like the gender-swapped makeover scene.

Score: 0.5

Characters

The female lead almost seems like she’s a bad actress to start with but it turns out that it’s the character who’s a bad actress and she’s nowhere near as shallow or vapid as she seems. This is a hard transition to pull off without seeming fake and the movie did a great job.

The male lead became more accepting and confidant but didn’t have much more development than that.

Score: 0.5

Dialogue

Sometimes I forget what the 2010’s was like, but this is filled with dated slang and quippy one-liners.

When the movie decides to be serious, it does a great job in those softer moments. Bonus points for explaining relativity in one breath.

Score: 1

Visuals and Music

The camera work was very early 2000’s Disney channel. The clothes, sets, and everything else were okay but low budget.

The music was acceptable but nothing special.

Score: 0.5

Fun

I get irritated watching the characters flinging their cameras while filming and I found the idea that a film club would be all sci-fi a little unlikely. Film nerds tend to look down on the genre.

That being said, the actors did a great job and it was cute. I really liked that this movie showed the world what made him fall in love with her. It was a nice touch and made everything more believable.

Bonus point for having the poor kid showing the rich man Metropolis, a film about the class divide between workers and wealthy land owners.

Score: 1

Overall

A product of its time, it celebrates nerds and love with lots of innocent heart. The actors do a great job with a predictable script.

Final Score: 3.5 Stars out of 5