Star Wars… The Original Trilogy

I grew up watching, and loving, these movies. But there are a lot of movies out every year and though I’ve seen them a few times in recent years, until this weekend I’ve not sat down and paid attention to the whole trilogy.

A bit of background though, just before Christmas, my husband, known online as the Old Man, took my two youngest kids (aka kid 2 and kid 3) to see Rogue One. I was busy with kid 1 doing some last minute shopping. Fast forward to Friday night and Old Man suggested we watch a movie to get away from several days of watching all 4 kids playing video games. He hinted at Lord of the Rings or the Original Star Wars. We do LOTR at least once a year so I opted for Star Wars. (Besides, after just losing Carrie, I wanted to see her again.)

As the first (or 4th, depending on how you count) movie started, Old Man recounted the end of Rogue One enough to let the kids know that this takes place right afterward, which wasn’t all that much of a spoiler since I knew where  Rogue one is placed in the time line… (Does that make Rogue One the new movie 4, and  the original movies 5,6, and 7 now? And will it ever stop changing and getting confusing?)

Having not seen the movies in several years I had several realizations, mostly from the perspective of an adult now, and not a kid or teenager and I thought I would share them with you all, by the movie of course.

A New Hope

First, o m g. Luke is a whiner. I want to slap him for whining. Oh.. I love James Earl Jones voice. I miss him in tv and movies today. And Han? He’s a self important jerk. Not that this was a surprise, I remembered this but it seems more in my face this time. Leia? Yeah, she’s who I remember. This was always my favorite movie of the series and I think it still is, even if i want to slap Luke.

The Empire Strikes Back

Fight, battle, whine. Leave, don’t leave, leave. This really is the worst of the first three movies. Oh, look, there’s Yoda. I don’t remember it taking a movie and a half to introduce Yoda. More of Luke being a willful brat. STAY and FINISH SCHOOL.. duh. You’ll regret it later… And of course not… aww… they kiss two or three times and Leia loves Han…. oddly, just before they carbonite him.

Return of the Jedi

Wow. Luke aged fast. Yoda dies… wow, he wasn’t in much of the movies was he? I remember Yoda being a bigger character than that. Speeder race, I remember that… oh, Ewoks! I loved them as a kid. oh, god, I hope the kids don’t insist on watching the Ewok movies. The big revelation to Leia. Oh, my word, why did we think Mark Hamill could act? I think he took lessons from William Shatner. Big. Dramatic. Pauses.

More self-centered Han…Dang, Harrison had that role down. Good battle. This one was lots of battle.

Then the Darth death scene. tear jerker. He’s not really all bad.

The final scene with the spirits of Anekin, Yoda and Obi Wan. I’d seen a shot where someone edited Carrie into that. It’s not cannon but I missed her in that shot this time.

Overall, it’s still a good movie series. I marveled at the graphic effects sometimes and how we thought they were just amazing then. But it’s still solid and will remain a family favorite around here.

We will continue watching all the Star Wars movies that come out in the future.

So, I *finally* got around to watching #VeronicaMars….

Yep, I did it.  I binge watched Veronica Mars.  But this time, I had what some would refer to as a valid reason.

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Some of you know that my day job is running my own PR company for authors.  One of the clients I’m a PA for, Amber Lynn Natusch, has a new YA Crime Noir series coming out with Tor Teen in 2018.  In discussing her new marketing strategy (all her previous work is adult, not YA), she suggested collecting Veronica Mars memes for sharing as her series is in a similar vein.  She felt that reaching out to VM fans would be a good jumping point for building her new reader audience.  Since I’d never seen VM, I confessed that the memes would be kind of lost on me as the references are nothing I would understand.  We ended up settling on a plan for me to pull any VM memes I could find, and Amber would have to go through the file and pick out the good ones that VM fans would appreciate.

This wasn’t the first time Amber mentioned VM to me.  She has been telling me for a while now that I would love it and should totally watch it.  Her exact words were “Veronica Mars is my spirit animal.”  Until chatting with Amber, I had no clue it was a “normal” show (I watch a lot of paranormal/supernatural scifi).  I had no idea that it was about a teenage detective.  And while we’re being honest, I wasn’t 100% sure I’d even like it.

Rather than blindly pulling memes for Amber to later sift through, I decided to finally give it a try.  I figured it would be better for me to experience the show and, in a way, get to know the audience I was going to be trying to locate for her in the next year and a half.

After watching the series, the 12-minute short, and the movie, I totally get it.  The main character isn’t perfect.  She’s good at what she does, but like all teenage girls, she doesn’t always come out on top.  She’s witty but not highbrow.

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Pure snark and sass.

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She lives surrounded by the height of California luxury, but she’s also content with her own lifestyle and doesn’t exactly spend her time pining for a different destiny.   Despite the glamorous setting of the story, Veronica is easy for the audience to relate to from episode one….

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Keep reading for my season-by-season thoughts.  😉

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The day Jena became a Jim Norton fan.

What up, humans? Jena here. I have a review of sorts for you from my author website blog. I did a binge watch of stand-up comedy specials by Jim Norton a while back. This post is my overall thoughts after watching them. 🙂 Happy reading!

Originally Posted 9-29-2015:

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<– To be clear, this is 100% true.  Especially today because I’m sick, and yours truly is the WORST patient in existence when ill.

Good afternoon!  This post was supposed to go live about a week ago, but my life got crazy, and then I contracted what can only be described as the plague.  Today, however, is a new day, and I’m sitting here making friends with my coffee.

Today we’re talking about Jim Norton.   Can I just tell you how much I ADORE this man?!?!  I somehow just found out about him.  How the hell is that possible?!?!?!  I only ask because by the time I found him, everyone was all ‘Um, yeah, where the ‘EFF have you been?!?!?!”  Anyway….

I was watching an episode of Inside Amy Schumer (huge fan of hers, too), and she was sitting with him at a bar and asked him about his affinity for “golden showers,” and I proceeded to spit my drink…..EVERYWHERE.  The conversation was hilarious, but candid, and I was hit with a stark realization:  he’s not kidding.  I busted out the Google Fu to find out about this Jim Norton guy who has no trouble admitting on national TV that he likes to be pissed on.  I found out he has a bunch of comedy specials available on Amazon and DirecTV.  I watched the four that were available (Please Be Offended, Monster Rain, American Degenerate, and Contextually Inadequate) and haven’t shut up about him since.

I want to warn you all before you hold me responsible  – Jim Norton’s comedy is not for everyone.  You have to be….umm…..open-minded.  Like, really open-minded.  Lol  And you need to have a seriously twisted sense of humor.  I’ve watched his specials with a few different people now, and there are moments when I’m laughing so hard I’m snorting and everyone else in the room is sitting in an uncomfortable silence.

You bitches really think I didn’t notice???

Continue reading “The day Jena became a Jim Norton fan.”

I binge watched #Heroes and fell in love with a serial killer. #IHeartSylar

Greetings, humans!  Jena here. Here’s one from the vault of my author website blog from that time I binge watched all of Heroes. Enjoy!

Originally Posted 6-29-2015:

Good morning and Happy Monday, you sexy bitches!  This weekend, in addition to doing a CRAZY amount of writing (more about that later), I also finished what ended up being a week-long binge watch of the TV series Heroes.  It was my first time watching the series despite having owned the first two seasons on DVD for over two years.  I got them at a charity media sale, but hadn’t gotten around to watching them.  Last weekend, I decided to give it a go, and by episode three or four, I was hooked.  I’ve been watching episodes every night, and this weekend, neither of my kids were home, so I did nothing but write and watch Heroes for two days straight.

It.  Was.  Awesome.

Well, I am done.  As soon as I finished, I opened my laptop and started typing so it would all still be very fresh.  There were some characters I loved.  There were some I hated.  There were even some characters I hated, and then loved.  We’re going to talk about all of them, plus my thoughts on the show as a whole.  🙂

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Heroes was much different than what I had pictured in my head.  I honestly figured it would feel cheap.  I imagined bad filming, bad acting, and bad special effects.  I could not have been further from the truth on all counts.  For the most part, the writing was tight.  A little infuriating at times, but tight.  Each episode was like a death march.  Someone always frikkin dies, but the nice thing about Heroes is that doesn’t exactly mean much.  They may be dead, but they also might be back in the next episode….

Continue reading “I binge watched #Heroes and fell in love with a serial killer. #IHeartSylar”

Breaking Bad was one of the best binge watches ever!

Greetings, humans!  Jena here.  Got another entry from my author website vault.  This one is a bit of a stream-of-consciousness written as I was nearing the end of my binge-watch of Breaking Bad.  My drawn conclusions all held up, and I loved the show so much, I binge-watched it again a few months later.  Happy reading!

Originally Posted 1-12-2016:

breaking-bad-series-finale-recap-how-did-it-endAlright, so I took forever and a day to get my ass in gear with watching Breaking Bad, but I finally did it (I’m almost finished with the final season). After much nudging from my dad and my good friend Ryan, both of whom are big nerdy fans, I decided to give it a shot.

Ryan is currently away from home, so I wrote him a letter to let him know my thoughts.

This is from that letter to him:

So, in one of my letters, I think I mentioned that I was going to give Breaking Bad another shot. Well, I did. I also accidentally found out how it ends (fucking internet…….that’s what I get for surfing fanfiction before I was done watching……totally my own fault). However, given what I’m about to say next, I’m not all together upset about the ending. As I write this, I’m somewhere in the beginning of season five. I’m not sure on the exact episode because I’ve been binge-watching the show for about a week now and stopped paying attention. Lol

Now….I’ve watched almost the whole show now, and I’ve come to one undeniable, inarguable realization: WALT RUINS JESSE’S FUCKING LIFE. Like, at every turn! Seriously. Every bad thing that happens to Jesse. Every jam he gets stuck in. Every time he gets the ever-lovin’ shit beat out of him. Every time he has to dispose of a body. Every time he kills someone. All of it. Every last ounce of it is 100% completely and totally Walter White’s fault. Cancer or not, the guy’s a DICK. They get themselves a step ahead, and then Walt convinces Jesse to do some dumb ass shit that knocks them back fifteen paces. Or they get super-duper close to getting out of the life altogether and Walt convinces him to dive back in. For instance, this morning, I watched the episode where they have the opportunity to sell the 1000 gallons of methylamine and Walter bombs the entire plan by forcing Jesse’s hand at staying. Well, I don’t know that he stays or not. I had to go to work, so I’m paused in the middle of an episode.

Anyway, my point is Walter White is INFURIATING. As the audience member, it’s very hard to want to continue cheering on a character I so badly want to see get his ass beat. As a writer, my fucking hat is OFF to the team behind the show because they managed to make the audience sympathize with a character who has next to no redeeming quality. They’ve got the audience pulling for the character who is the direct cause of every bad thing happens through the entire 5-season story arc. That’s a pretty fucking impressive trick.

But look at everything Jesse has been through. Cooking meth in the first place (he blackmails Jesse into it). Jane’s OD. Brock being poisoned. Getting involved with and the demise of Tuco. Killing Gail. The list goes on and on. Every single bad thing that Jesse has to accept, mentally work through, and live with – all Walt’s doing. He either manipulates him into it or flat-out forced his hand. Walter White is a shit bag character and Jesse should have capped his ass in season one.

It’s all very much along the same lines as Sons of Anarchy. I mean, Kurt Sutter had millions of people pulling for a group of gun-running thugs and murderers, guys who killed in cold blood every single week. Lol And we were all completely heartbroken when any of them were lost or hurt. I honestly don’t know if I’m going to be upset when Walt bites it. I’m kind of hoping for it at this point, and a not small part of me is kind of hoping it’s Jesse who pulls the trigger. He’s certainly earned it at this point, I think. However, the only spoiler I’ve seen is “now that Walter is dead…” I wont know the details of how it happened until I finish my little binge-watch. 

I love the characters of Saul Goodman and Gustavo Fring. Saul is a shady, weaselly little shit, but man, he gets the job done, and knows all the right people in the lowest places. Not to mention, the actor who plays him really hams it up for the camera and it’s just the right amount of sleaze. Lol As for Gustavo, YOU NEED TO WATCH THE BLACKLIST WHEN YOU GET HOME. Gustavo Fring IS Red Reddington, I swear to the gods of old. Lol The two characters are eerily similar. Every angle covered. Super-powerful. They’re so much alike, it’s weird to watch being such a HUGE fan of The Blacklist. Gustavo is quieter than Red though, but they’re equally scary. I own the seasons so you’re totally binge-watching that with me when you get home.

I also cant stand Walt’s wife. She’s such a bitch. She’s got a whole holier-than-thou thing she’s rocking, and frankly, it doesn’t fly. The chick is every bit as guilty as Walt in her own way, yet acts like he’s the monster. The first time she spent one single dime, she became just as guilty as he is. And her boy toy, Ted? That douche nozzle almost killed himself on accident. How does that even happen? Anyway, she’s the one who sent people there specifically to play Tony Soprano with him. Being all boo-hoo and crying about it doesn’t change the fact that SHE SENT PEOPLE THERE TO MUSCLE HIM INTO DOING WHAT SHE WANTED. Granted, it was in his best interest, but she still tried to force his hand. The wishy washy, back and forth between ‘I want to be a bad guy’ and ‘I could never be a bad guy’ got old quick. Either you’re okay with the mad money and all the moral gray areas that come with it, or you can hit the bricks. She CHOSE to stick around. I was so fucking happy when Walt finally signed the divorce papers and then she went and didn’t bother filing them! I was ready to punch her in the baby maker over that. Ugh. She’s got to go. Or die. Either way, that character sucks.

My favorite part of this show, hands down, is Jesse Pinkman. #1) I happen to LOVE Aaron Paul. He’s not traditionally hot, per se, but he’s definitely got this weird sexual vibe to him. And that fucking voice. Seriously. #2) Aaron Paul is one of the best actors I’ve ever watched, and he owns every damn role he’s in. I watched him in Need for Speed last summer. The majority of the cast in that movie is good (with the stark exception of Dakota Johnson who couldn’t act if her life depended on it), but the scene where the main character’s friend dies in the fiery car crash….omg, I cry every time. Like, full-on ugly sobbing. Aaron Paul’s delivery of emotion in a performance like that is staggering, and he fucking NAILS IT all the way through Breaking Bad. BB is such an emotional hell ride and I really don’t think it would have played the same with a different actor in the role of Pinkman. He’s able to convey just the right balance of knowing what the fuck he’s doing and a level of innocence and naiveté that make his gradual breakdown that much more tragic. All around, he’s spectacular in the role. He’d be totally irreplaceable.

On that same note, Bryan Cranston. That man is a fucking genius. My hat is tipped to him simply for making me hate him so passionately. Lol He’s a phenomenal actor, no joke. He and Aaron Paul MAKE this show, and I really think it would have tanked with any other team at the helm. I may not be a fan of Walt’s character, but Cranston is the man. He has this crazy ability to go from showing a loving, and convincing warmth in his eyes to the harsh coldness that can only be the result of true, pure hatred at the flip of a switch. It’s crazy to be able to manipulate not only your eyes but the mannerisms, too. That kind of bitter cold makes you carry yourself differently than you would if you were playing out a scene with someone you’re supposed to be in love with. The shift from one extreme side of his persona to the other is seamless for him. He’s the shit, for sure.

Honestly, I’m going to be very, very sad when it comes to an end. You were right. Hands down one of the best shows to ever grace the television. I’m really disappointed that I waited so long to get into it. I really wish you were here to geek out over this with me!

 

Totally impressed.  Such a good show.  I have no shitty clue what I’m going to watch when I finish it.  I think there is going to be a raging case of withdrawal in my very near future.

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Have I told you guys I am a FREAK for the show #TheBlacklist?? @NBCBlacklist

I had originally planned on just posting what I wrote on my author blog about the season 2 finale, but instead, I decided to make it a complete rewatch post.

I was one of those who caught wind of The Blacklist before it premiered, so I’ve been in since S01E01. I bullied people into watching the show. “YOU WILL LOVE IT, DAMMIT!” I’ve successfully converted, like, twenty people to being die hard fans, so I’m calling that shit a win.

Part of what triggered this rewatch was another addiction of mine – Funko Pop figures. I just became a member of Pop In A Box, a monthly Pop figure subscription run by Funko themselves. I was window shopping their new arrivals the other night when I stumbled across this handsome little devil currently on PREORDER:

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Adorable, right?!?!

THE FRIKKIN FEDORA!!!

Oh, and that’s not all. Lizzy’s available too. 🙂

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Although I think Lizzy is awesome, I really would have preferred Red, Dembe, and Mr. Kaplan, but that’s just my opinion…… I can just picture them on my shelf….. Red in the middle, Dembe standing stoically, hands folded in front of him, and Mr. Kaplan on the other side, her Mary Poppins-esque bag in one hand, and that giant fucking hand cannon of a gun she totes around in the other. *stares dreamily at the empty space on bookshelf* (Funko???? NBC???? Get on this, please????)

Oh, and yes, that was me admitting that a toy triggered a complete series rewatch. lol

And these Pop figures are not available until January 2017 so I wont be seeing them in my stocking this Christmas.  *pouty face*

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Continue reading “Have I told you guys I am a FREAK for the show #TheBlacklist?? @NBCBlacklist”