**SPOILERS** Welcome to the Losers Club

First, a disclaimer. There WILL be spoilers in this post. Lots of spoilers. If you have not seen the new version of IT that is currently in theaters, you may want to hold off on reading this post.

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Second disclaimer-I am a rabid Stephen King fan, and IT is one of my favorite King offerings. I have listened to the audiobook, narrated by the amazing Steven Weber, multiple times, in spite of it being a whopping 45+ hours long. I’ve also had an intensely Stephen-filled summer-my podcast has done an episode a month about Uncle Stevie, I spent two weekends in Bangor on a makeshift tour of some “Derry” sights, and, in a stroke of pure luck and, dare I say, destiny, I met Stephen King at a Dropkick Murphys concert. So I’m fangirling my dark little heart out-consider yourself warned.

Now that the fine print is out of the way, I want to state right off the bat that I loved the 90s TV movie-in spite of its obvious flaws (mainly every adult actor minus Tim Curry, and the wide detours from the source material). I was young and impressionable when it came out (as opposed to now, when I’m middle-aged and impressionable), and, like so many in my generation, it made a huge impression. I didn’t end up with a clown phobia, unlike pretty much everyone else I knew who watched it, but I did have a serious case of the heebie-jeebies. Tim Curry was magnificent-boisterous, with a bit of a “stranger danger” pedo vibe, his portrayal was basically an amalgamation of every cautionary tale our parents ever gave us.

The rest of the movie, from John Boy, to young Bill’s smudge-o’-chocolate fake mole, to Ritter Jack-Trippering all over Ben Hanscom, was a bit of a mess. Still, it delighted me. Getting to see one of the most deeply creepy tales I’d ever read brought to life was so unbelievably epic. We didn’t have cable (they literally didn’t run cable to the road I grew up on until I was close to moving out), so the fact that it was on network television made it even better.

I had my gripes, for sure. It bothered me that adult Bill wasn’t bald. It bothered me that they made Ben a n00b to Derry. It bothered me that the way it was edited made it seem as though they all attended school all summer, and seem like Ben started at a new school on the last day. But overall, it made me incredibly happy, warts (or fakest fake moles) and all.

But it didn’t scare me. The book scared me when I read it, but the movie just didn’t. As I got older, I hoped that maybe they would eventually remake it, but knew it was unlikely-the original, and Tim Curry as Pennywise, were too iconic to get rebooted.

When I heard there was going to be a new movie, I was completely thrilled. I tried very hard to remain chill about it, and not get my hopes up too much, but it was impossible, especially once stills and teasers and trailers started coming out.

Not sure about you, but those trailers rocked my world-they seemed to indicate that the new IT was going to capture far more of what skeeved me out about the book, and be less silly and poorly acted/plotted than the original TV movie, and I was chomping at the bit.

I was not disappointed.

In the interest of full disclosure, I admit that when the lights in the theater went all the way down, and the opening credits started, I may or may not have teared up a bit. I’ve waited decades for a new version, and the anticipation of the last few months has had me pretty geared up. From the opening credits til the lights came back up, I was entranced.

Let me start with how beautifully they captured the vibe of Derry-from Niebolt Street, to the standpipe, to the barrens, everything felt *incredibly* New England in appearance. Derry plays a starring role in the book-it’s more than a setting, it’s a character. This version captured that incredibly well, and showed the idyllic surface with the rotting underbelly. In addition to capturing the underlying menace of the town itself, there were some nifty little homages to the book that added to the “local flavor”-seeing the Freese’s Department Store and Tracker Brothers shirts on characters warmed my cockles, and felt like a nice tip of the hat to fans of the book.

Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise blew me away. I wasn’t sure what to expect-Curry’s Pennywise is so iconic, and I wasn’t sure how Skarsgard could top it. But here’s the thing-it wasn’t a contest. Much like Nicholson’s Joker versus Ledger’s Joker, the two portrayals are so wholly different from each other, but both fantastic. I have zero doubt that Skarsgard’s Pennywise will cause many a case of coulrophobia for years to come, much like Curry’s Pennywise. They are just two entirely different animals. Where Curry’s Pennywise was very human, very silly and strangely charming, Skarsgard’s version made me think of an alien wearing a human suit-he goes through the motions of being a person, but everything is a little wrong, a little unsettling. This was partly due to the actor’s insanely creepy ability to make each of his eyes look in different directions, which added a really cool unease to watching him. It was also due to the redesign of Pennywise’s costume-making it look less cheap polyester and more ancient, defiled Victorian really lent a vibe of wrongness to the character. Skarsgard nailed it with his savage, barely contained rage and manic imitation of jovialty.

Chapter One of IT revolved around the Losers Club when they were kids, and, if miscast, the story could easily have fallen flat. Fortunately, the casting is completely on point. Jaeden Lieberher did an excellent job as Bill, nailing the stutter without making it an exaggerated mess, and getting the angry grief that was so evident in the book. Jeremy Ray Taylor was adorably awkward as Ben, and absolutely charmed me in the role, especially in the unrequited longing towards Bev. Speaking of Bevy, Sophia Lillis completely blew me away-her somber interactions with her creepy, abusive father showed some definite acting chops, but her relaxed joy when she was with her friends was also lovely. Finn Wolfhard as Richie Tozier stole many a scene though-I adored him in Stranger Things, but he did Trash Mouth justice, perfectly capturing the slightly obnoxious but hilarious and lovable character perfectly, even throwing uneasy sarcasm when he was in situations that might leave others a sobbing mess. Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie was so achingly vulnerable at times, and so strong that he seemed to shock himself at times, and I thought he nailed it. Chosen Jacobs as Mike Hanlon wasn’t really given much to do, which was a shame-a lot of the things that made Mike Mike were meted out to other characters, or eliminated altogether, and it left Mike as more of a bit player than a full-fledged member of the Losers Club. Wyatt Oleff as Stan did a decent job, and was given a bit more to do than Mike, but I think that considering how he meets his end in the book and, presumably, Chapter Two, the filmmakers missed the mark a bit in making him indelible.

The other actors in the movie did a decent job-from Bev’s douchebag dad to the Losers Club’s tormentors (Henry, Belch, Victor and Patrick), they were all decently cast, but not used to their full abilities in some ways. I’m going to say it now-I was truly disappointed that they passed over the skin-crawling aspects of Patrick Hockstetter that are in the book. A child sociopath who kills his infant brother as well as any neighborhood pet he can get his hands on was, for me, one of the most horrifying parts of the book, and it’s a huge bummer that it was ignored in both versions of the movie. I know there is a Chapter Two coming, and I know they’ve mentioned there will be flashbacks to childhood in it, but I’m not getting my hopes up for more of the Hockstetter backstory. I felt like the villains beyond Pennywise didn’t *quite* capture the menace of their novel counterparts, but I don’t feel as though that fell on the shoulders of the actors.

Have I mentioned that in my perfect world, IT would have been three full-length movies rather than two, to fully capture the nuances of the 1,000+ page source material?

Let me be clear-my gripes were absolutely minor in my overall love of the movie. I’m nitpicking because I’m absolutely in love with the book (minus the awkward sex scene in the sewers, which, thankfully, was not featured in the movie), but there is still so much to adore about this film. Not only is it *beautifully* shot, but the acting, for the most part, is absolutely brilliant, and this version of Pennywise is so much more dreadful (in the best possible ways) for me. There were some additions to the mythos that may annoy some fans of the book, but it definitely felt like ways to build up to Chapter Two, and some may not like the shift of the past portions being set in the 80s rather than the 50s. I personally thought that shift in timeframe was an easy way to still have the nostalgia factor of a more innocent time without alienating younger crowds, which were rampant at the showing I attended.

IT left me wanting more-I’m dying to see how they cast and use the grownup Losers Club. I’m extremely optimistic, and can’t wait to see what they do.

 

 

 

 

 

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#FromHeliosToHollywood #Podcast S02E01 – The One With Cassia Brightmore

Weeeeeeeee’re Baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Good evening, party people!  The From Helios to Hollywood podcast is officially back from hiatus with an episode I’ve had banked for better than 6 months.  lol  Author/model/editor Cassia Brightmore joins the podcast to talk about her two dark romance series, how she got into modeling, and a refreshing take on editing from the other side of the fence.  We had an awesome chat, shorter than our usual podcast, but awesome nonetheless.  🙂  Enjoy!

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About Cassia Brightmore

10803348Cassia Brightmore is a Canadian dark romance author. She loves writing dark stories with twisted characters that she hopes will thrill the reader as well as make them fall in love.

She loves hockey, video games and online shopping. If she’s not writing or editing, you can usually find her doing one of these things. Writing is her passion and publishing her first book as an indie author is truly a dream come true.

The Darkness Series  |  The Trauma Series

Author Links

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The sisters of the Sacred Hearts Coven gather every month with one intention, to ignite a flame of passion into one lucky person’s love life.

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The sisters of the Sacred Hearts Coven are at it again. This time sister Maiden Esmeralda asks her sisters to help her cast a spell to help friend and café patron Lilly fill her heart with something that lasts more than one date.

Jack and Ginger
Ginger Thorn has lost everything. Struggling to deal with the truth of her devastating divorce, which pales compared to the heartache she feels in losing her father, Ginger attempts to regain her once familiar life. She has decided to start fresh by moving into her father’s condo and taking a chance on a new business venture.

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#FromHeliosToHollywood #Podcast S01E04 – The One With @EmilyCyrAuthor

BONUS EPISODE!!!

HAPPY TUESDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!  This morning we have a bonus episode for your listening pleasure.  This was originally scheduled to go up a week ago, but thanks to all sorts of technical difficulties, it was hung up, but it’s totally worth the wait!  This is definitely one of my favorite podcast convos so far.  As of right now, it’s only up on YouTube (still having an upload problem on SoundCloud and iTunes), but I will update this post once it’s available elsewhere.  Enjoy!!!

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About Give And Take

Vampire Favors 2.0 - Give And TakeAddison Fitzpatrick settled her first favor, a cataclysmic repayment that ended with hundreds of Pushers dead. Three months later, she receives a letter from the Vampire who betrayed her trust, asking her to save him.

The cryptic letter makes one fact perfectly clear – she has to find Lachlan, assuming he’s not already dead. In doing so, she is forced to do the one thing he asked her not to: involve Cannon.

But the search for Lachlan comes with a price. Addison is forced deeper into her debt, just as her life is put in jeopardy when a new danger surfaces. One from her past, stirring up inner demons threatening to take her back to hell.

Now Addison must find a way to kill a supernatural being she’s never even heard of, all while protecting her heart from its love for Lachlan, and its confusing stirrings toward Cannon. It was so much easier to hate the vampires.

Things are not always what they seem in Addison’s world. The fight to save Lachlan will test her strength, her conviction, and her skill as a Pusher. Will she survive unscathed, or will she let the demons win?

Give And Take
by Emily Cyr

Series
Vampire Favors #2

Genre
Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Romance

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
June 3, 2016

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The Vampire Favors Series
Vampire Favors 1.0 - Push And Pull  Vampire Favors 2.0 - Give And Take

About Emily Cyr

Emily CyrEmily Cyr is a stay-at-home mom turned writer. She holds a degree in middle grades education with certification in English and social science. She has always had a love of all things paranormal and fantasy, but it wasn’t until Emily’s husband said the words, “Why not?” that she considered putting her thoughts and ideas into the book, The Lightning Prophecy. This trilogy was just the start for Emily. It seemed to open a creative door that had been locked.

Emily has always been an avid reader. Through reading came her love of writing. The more she read, the more she knew she wanted to create her own world. Many of her first works were fan fiction.

Emily and her family currently reside in Jacksonville, Florida. She has an incredibly supportive husband. They have two sons, ages 2 and 3. Somehow, even with the demands of being a parent to two little boys, she finds time to escape to her fantasies and write them down.

Author Links

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#FromHeliosToHollywood Podcast S01E3 – The One With Victoria Ashley & Hilary Storm

Good evening, everyone!  We have a special double feature tonight.  Two episodes in one day!  Our first episode is with special guest authors VICTORIA ASHLEY and HILARY STORM, here to talk about their new co-written release PAY FOR PLAY (info about the book is down at the bottom of this post.

The second episode was scheduled for 8pm,
but obviously, it’s running late.  lol  🙂
Stay tuned!

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About Pay For Play

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00015]Alphachat.com – That’s all the info you need to get off in the privacy of your own home, car or hell… even in a public fucking library.

Whatever gets you wet.

I never expected a million-dollar business to come out of touching myself on camera, but when you add in nine of your best guys, the women become hungry and the money begins flowing faster than you can spend it.

You want to see me take my shirt off, I’ll strip it off nice and slow, making you sweat in anticipation.

You want to see me touch my dick, I’ll stroke every hard inch of it, getting you off before you can even feel it creeping up on you.

Your money.

Your Alpha.

Your demand.

Now I just hope playing for her on camera will pay off enough for me to claim her outside of the computer screen.


Pay For Play
by Victoria Ashley and Hilary Storm

Series
AlphaChat.com #1

Genre
Contemporary Romance
Erotic Romance

Publisher
Independent

Publication Date
6/6/2016

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About Victoria Ashley

Victoria AshleyNew York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author.

Victoria Ashley grew up in Rockford, IL and has had a passion for reading for as long as she can remember. After finding a reading app where it allowed readers to upload their own stories, she gave it a shot and writing became her passion.

She lives for a good romance book with bad boys that are just highly misunderstood and is not afraid to be caught crying during a good read. When she’s not reading or writing about bad boys, you can find her watching her favorite shows.

She is the author of Wake Up Call, This Regret, Slade, Hemy, Cale, Get Off On The Pain, Something For The Pain and Thrust.

Victoria’s Links

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About Hilary Storm

Hilary StormHilary Storm is the USA Today Bestselling author of the Rebel Walking Series, Bryant Brother’s Series, Inked Brother’s Series, Six, and a co-author in the Elite Forces Series book ICE and FIRE and the Alphachat.com Series. She lives with her high school sweetheart and three children in Oklahoma. She drives her husband crazy talking about book characters everyday like they are real people. She graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with an MBA in Accounting. Her passions include being a mom, writing, reading, photography, music, mocha coffee, and spending time with friends and family. Sign up for her newsletter here: http://www.hilarystormwrites.com

Hilary’s Links

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#FromHeliosToHollywood Podcast S01E02 – The One With a Theme Song

Good evening, everyone!  We’re a couple days late getting it up on the blog thanks to some editing difficulties.  Growing pains are to be expected as we’re just getting started out.  However, we’re happy to give you From Helios to Hollywood Episode 2 WITH A THEME SONG!  It’s just a temporary until we have one custom made, but we like it.  🙂

Enjoy!

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#FromHeliosToHollywood Podcast S01E01 – The Maiden Voyage!!!!

The first podcast is done!  However, until the first episode is approved by iTunes, this is the only place you’ll be able to download it.  I will update this post later today with the links for the other services as soon as they’re ready.

We will also be moving the posting date to Mondays.  As we are just getting this up and running, it’s a learning experience, and the thing I learned is that editing 2+ hours of raw podcast takes a lot longer than I anticipated.  When all was said and done, the podcast was cut down to just north of an hour and a half.  So, going forward, we will record on Friday nights (most times) and post on Monday mornings.  🙂

Also, we will NOT be uploading to SoundClick as originally planned.  The files are too big and they dont allow 3rd party hosting.  So, I will be exploring other options for where to upload it.  For right now, here on the blog, iTunes, and YouTube will be it.  🙂

Hope you guys like it!

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Jena, Dubo, and Mel sit down to celebrate Pure Textuality PR going full time and the launch of From Helios to Hollywood!

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(hosted on Google Drive; mp3 file)

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