When I went to see The Martian, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve heard wonderful things about the novel, and it’s been on my to-read list for a very long time. (It’s a long list that gets very little time, and I’m a slow reader.) But, this was the movie. And it was the opening weekend, so Facebook and Twitter hadn’t yet given away the entire plot, which I will attempt to not do as well.
I saw the trailer once, so I knew I was going to see a story about Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut left behind on Mars when the mission goes FUBAR. I also knew from the trailer that at some point, the crew that left him behind would be heading back to rescue him. What I didn’t know was if he would survive, and if so, how. Once I decided I was going to see it, I ignored everything about it, and even missed the fact that it was directed by Ridley Scott. And I’m glad I didn’t know, because even knowing that would have given me some expectations, and I often find those to be toxic to my enjoyment of a movie.
I got to the theater a half hour early, got a prime spot in one of the theater’s new recliners, and chowed down on a hotdog. When the movie started after twenty minutes of trailers, I was eager to get started, but I wasn’t prepared for it.
a review of M. Night Shymalan’s The Visit
By Christopher Ouellette
I want to just start off by acknowledging my estranged relationship with Mr. Shyamalan. I saw Signs not knowing anything about it. (This was before Mel had melted down and long before I knew how to pronounce Jacqueline or Shyamalan.) I had not seen the previews, so I was not among the throngs who thought they were going to a wall-to-wall alien invasion horror film. So as the Family Drama in a haunted house vibe rolled out, I was on board, and I was hooked.
Of course, where do you go after that? IMDB tells you that this is the same guy who gave you The Sixth Sense, and you now have to rent Unbreakable (from a ma and pa video store). Do you remember that time period? People were getting all hyperbolic on him: ‘The second coming of Hitchcock!’ ‘The next Spielberg!’ (This was two years before War of the Worlds, so that was still a compliment.)
It’s that time of year again, when a new novel hits the virtual and real life shelves of bookstores across North America. “But,” you say, “You have books out like every other month! What makes this one special enough to get a ‘that time of year’ intro?” Good question! While I do release many novels in e-book and paperback, I only have one hardcover release per year that’s available online AND in physical stores. And its fate is pretty much sealed, for better or worse, in the first six weeks of sales. So I shout a little bit louder about these books and prod for social sharing. Pretty please with Hydra on top!
Now, let’s get Crazy!
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MIRRORWORLD is one of the most action-packed novels I’ve ever written, and that’s saying a lot. It’s also one of the most creative, containing monsters of my own creation that aren’t simply a rehash of well known beasties (zombies, vampires, myths, etc…). The main character, who has no sense of fear (physical or social) is fun because his words and actions are often totally unfiltered and unpredictable. But he’s also more flawed than many of my characters, and despite his fearless nature, is in some ways, easy to relate to. But enough of me blathering on about the book I wrote. Here’s the summary! Check it out for yourself, and if you dig it, spread the word. If you don’t, spread the word anyway!