How I Look at a Movie’s Reception

Alright, that was a long title. But it’s most accurate to what I want to say. And this is specifically for movies. I tend not to look into critical receptions of TV shows. They’re easier to watch and tend to be an hour or less, so I don’t have any real reason not to check out something that might be interesting. Other than lack of time, of course.

But for movies, I find myself using Rotten Tomatoes now to decide what movies to watch. I do know what their meter means. It just shows the percentage of people that said, “Yes,” to the movie versus those that said, “No.” It is not indicative of quality. But I find that I am a commoner, and I will like what most people likes.

Does that mean I won’t enjoy movies that score low on the meter? Not at all. Before I used Rotten Tomatoes, I would just go to movies. I checked out some of them on the site and there were a few rotten ones, but I still enjoyed them.

So why am I using them now? Mostly as an easy way to filter out things I possibly want to see but turn out that it might not be worth it. There are just so many movies coming out. Now, I haven’t measured or anything, but I think each progressive year, more and more movies are coming out. So I want a simple way to decide see in in theaters or watch it later on TV. I’m still seeing them, just not paying movie theater prices. And I’m pretty certain I’ll still enjoy them.

Now I usually don’t read the reviews. Ironic for a guy that writes reviews, isn’t it? I just stick to an overall score. It works for me. I get to hone in on stuff that will most likely be really enjoyable, and for the stuff that might not be, I’ll catch it later. I’m in no rush.

For a recent example, I wanted to see A Wrinkle In Time. But based on the overall reception to it, I think I’ll catch it on-demand or on TV later. It says nothing about how much I’ll enjoy the film, but just how much I think it’s worth traveling to the theater and paying ticket prices to see it.

For some films, I’ll see it anyway, regardless of overall reception. Those are films that are in the genre I really enjoy. For now, it’s mostly superhero films. Went to see the DC universe films and those tend to have less than warm things said about them. But I liked the films. Another film I’ll probably see is Ocean’s 8 regardless of what’s said about it because I want to.

That’s how I use the critical reception. Not to tell me what to see and what not to see, because I already know what I like, but to¬† tell me what I would prefer to see in theaters versus watching them at home.

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Milly 4, Final Thoughts

This will be the final part of my thoughts on the fourth book in the Milly series. At least that’s the plan. If I think of any more I want to say, I’ll put out another post.

One character I haven’t talked about is Colin. He is Milly’s adopted younger brother. When I first thought of the story, I envisioned him as younger than he was, more like at the crawling stage. Then I reread the first book and found out I made him old enough to walk and talk, so I kept it. I think it worked out better that way as it gave him a bit more to do.

I knew I wanted him to appear in this book, but what I’m deciding is if the passage of time should be the same between the two worlds or not. That’s because I want Colin to appear, yet not to have it be a big deal back on Earth where he disappears for a long time. Hmm, it’s rough.

I wanted someone else from Earth because I want to show that it is possible to return home, but to show that Milly will sacrifice her chance to send her brother back. It also contrasts a bit with what Carl Ross would do. I tried to create a interesting dynamic between Milly and Carl, and Colin is the character that best let’s that play out.

Carl’s story isn’t finished, yet, but I don’t have as much planned for him at the moment. Maybe that will change later. For now, just know that I had a fun time writing this book, and I got to put out a lot of fun things. My favorite part of this is still the spackilo. I don’t know if it’ll return, but I had fun writing about it.

Sometime soon, it’ll be my notes on the fifth book, Milly and the City in Between!

NaNoWriMo 2017 End

Well, not quite yet, but it is ending this week. I hit 50,000 words a bit before that, but I wanted to keep up the pace of writing for as long as I could. So I am going to continue trying to write at least 1700 words per day (which I know is higher than the needed words per day).

So, how did I find this experience? Well, pretty much the same as my previous NaNoWriMo times. It was a lot of fun, but it also took me a lot of time to get my words in. That’s not helped by me watching internet videos when writing, so I probably take two of three times as long to get things done. It’s fun and interesting.

I will talk a a bit about my general NaNoWriMo strategy. For me, it’s all about quantity over quality. I have to get my word count in, and I will edit that down later (if ever). I chose a certain style of book, one that allowed me to do whatever I wanted. A children’s fantasy book seemed like a great choice for that. I can throw in whatever I wanted and have it make sense for the world. It really allows me to fill up the book with fun events that don’t necessarily have to connect to the main plot.

One thing I could really do better in the books is some character developing. At the time, they are mostly having fun and going on adventures. I think that’s alright, but all the stuff I’ve read have the characters learn and grow every book. It’s already tough enough trying to give all the main characters a cool event to do, now I have to have them grow and change. It would be nice if they could just change slightly. It’s not a huge lesson, just a slow growth.

For NaNoWriMo, I chose not to use an outline. I have a general plot in mind, but that’s it. In this instance, I had no idea how I was going to resolve the story until I was about 10,000 words in, but I really liked the idea I came up with. Usually, I would suggest knowing how to resolve things before writing. It just worked out well for me this time.

I also write every day. I think it’s important to keep it up. I find I’m more likely to continue if I do the proper word count each day rather than do a lot one day and take a break the next. That’s how it works for me, but it might be different for you. Everyone has different strategies that work for getting the proper amount of words. I just find it easier to make writing that much a habit.

I think NaNoWriMo does require a different tactics compared to normal writing. Since it’s so fast and furious, you either need to plan out every detail before the start, or you need a story that can handle anything. I chose the latter. It made for a fun experience where I don’t question if something would fit before I add it in. Now, if I ever want to edit my stories, that’s going to be real tough.

If you’re a writer, you should give it a shot next year. It’s not about completing the story but just doing your best at it.

NaNoWriMo 2017

It’s almost here again! This time, it feels like NaNoWriMo snuck up on me even faster than before. I am not prepared at all. I mean, alright, I have some preparation, but that’s just from thinking about how to continue the story over the year. But once again, there’s no formal planning, outline or anything like that. I know the general idea and don’t even have a proper ending. This is going to be wild.

Of course, this year I’m going to be continuing to book 5 of my Milly series. I am still wondering if I should go to 8 books or not on this series. I know there are eight provinces, but the first book actually went through 2 provinces. Maybe if I do go to eight books, I’ll revist the first two to flesh them out some more. Also, I really want to get to book 7. I have so many ideas for that district. It’ll be wild.

For thosr that don’t know, Milly is my children’s book series about a girl trapped in a strange magical world. The world is made up for 8 provinces plus the wizards city in the middle. Each book, she goes on an adventure in one of the provinces while trying to figure out how to get home. The world is fanciful and full of wonder since I’m making up a lot of stuff on the fly to fill word count. There are lots of magic and many different magical people live there. So check it out! The first four books can be found here.

Anyway, here’s a quick preview of book 5. Milly and Cornwilla are going to the Desert Province! Desert, not dessert, right? Geeze. I am going to have so much problems with that. Anyway, I have some fun magical things planned, and the Desert Province will have two main races rather than just one.

Also, afterwards NaNoWriMo is over, I’ll start putting up my thoughts and notes on book 4. I know I should have done it far earlier, but it’ll be coming. And I also already have ideas on book 6, too. Hope I still have those in mind when it actually comes around. Probably.

Thinking About Sequels

This is just me rambling on, thinking about sequels and other stuff. It’s not going to be too long. This will just be some thoughts on stuff. I mean, yeah, most of my stuff is sort of just what I think as it comes, but I sometimes go back and edit them. I’ll probably edit this a bit, too. So really. There’s not a huge difference other than that this isn’t going to be about one movie or tv show in particular.

There will be nothing insightful here, I’ll tell you that right now. I don’t really know anything about how the industry works.

My first thoughts are on sequels. They always seem more bombastic than the original, and sometimes, it feels worse. I think part of the problem is that a the main character already got a healthy dose of development in the first film, so they skip past that kind of thing in the second film. And to replace it? More action!

Another issue might be because people really like one part of the film. And yeah, it’s pretty good. The movie writers hear about it and decide to make it a larger part of the second film. Now, this might cause a problem because the original elemnt only works really well once or in small amounts. Once it takes over a larger part of the movie, it just becomes obnoxious.

These might be a cause as to why sequel movies feel busier, less cohesive, and less interesting overall. The best sequels do something new, instead and remembers to keep the right balance that made the first installment work so well.

As for the second topic of this post, I’ll mention real quick why I always point out if I saw any adaptations of movies or TV shows before. The reason is because knowing the original work can color my opinion of the adaptation. I might be more interested in pointing out why the adaptation pales or works compared to the original. If I haven’t seen the original, I would just be looking at the adaptation by itself.

It’s important to know what both people that know and don’t know the original say. Then, you can get an idea of how close the adaptation is and also how a completely new set of eyes feel about the work.

Ok. That’s all for my rambling today.

Milly, Book 3 Closing Thoughts

Alright, this might be the final post on Book 3 of Milly, and this will be a collection of random final thoughts. I don’t think there’s much more to add.

Will I do another book where another character is the point-of-view character? I’m not planning on it. Book 3 is currently going to be the only one. It will be Milly for the rest of the books. Now that’s not to say I won’t do it, but I’m not considering it at the moment.

Book 3 was interesting and fun to do. I don’t think I did the perspective shift as well as I could have, but it was a cool experience. In my original plan, Milly wasn’t in the book as much, but in the final version, she and Cornwilla had a decent amount of time together. I think it works better because it gave more to them compared to a few quick meetings.

As for what Milly was up to during that time, she mostly had an easier way getting through Murt. Not as much interesting stuff as compared to Cornwilla. That’s the way of things, isn’t it? The people not the point of view character tends to have easier times. And if they didn’t, it will be told either through flashback or through the character retelling it. Since neither of those things happened, you can assume Milly was just walking along during the times she was not with Cornwilla.

I also enjoyed bringing Chrillo back into this. For a quick reminder, Chrillo is the guide for the Forest Province. I was actually planning something like this since the first book, the eternal nighttime plot, I mean. That’s why I made Chrillo more sickly and weak, so he would be more affected by the lack of sunlight.

I tried to give Milly and Chrillo a good conclusion, even though Cornwilla has less reason to care. It might be a similar problem in the future if I want to bring Reting back but Milly is the point-of-view character again. Reting doesn’t really know Milly at all.

Random info, out of all the guides so far (including the 4th book), my favorite guide is Nathootha (the guide from the Mountain Province). I enjoy writing Slivhl (the guide from the Swamp Province), too.

Thinking about the series as a whole, you might think there will be 7 books in the series. I went through two provinces in the first book, so there’s six others I’ve been going through one book at a time. I think I want to have an 8th book though. What will be in that? Who knows. Who knows.

Ocean’s Eleven, My Favorites

This is the first installment of a new blog series entitled, My Favorites. This is, simply enough, some of my favorite pieces of media from all ranges. Though likely there will not be many art media here or comic books. So this will focus on regular books, movies, TVs and video games.

Remember, these are just my tastes, and my taste skews towards fun and quirky rather than deep explorations of humanity and stuff like that. Ew, biopics.

I just recently rewatched Ocean’s Thirteen so I thought that Ocean’s Eleven would be a good first entry. And this would be the George Clooney-starring remake, not the original one. I also enjoy the entire Ocean’s trilogy, so there will be a bit about each movie. Speaking of which, I am rather excited for the sequel to the Ocean’s trilogy with a female cast.

There will be some spoilers here and there.

Ocean’s Eleven is a heist movie. Of course having more people in the team means less money per individual, but more people is also more fun. And each member of the team is likeable and a decent person. Sure, they’re thieves, but they’re gentlemen about it, most of them anyway.

Ocean’s Eleven, and the movie trilogy as a whole, is just fast and loose fun. You never know when the characters are just putzing around and when they are doing something important. Things just fly by with little to no explanation, and it’s pretty great. You see professionals work in a capacity that they don’t even need to fully communicate.

That gives the films quite some fun rewatch possiblities. On first viewing, I missed a lot of stuff that became important later on. Even on the second viewing I still missed some things. But the movies are fun enough that I enjoyed watching them more than once, each time knowing more than the previous time.

The main fun of Ocean’s Eleven, for me anyway, is seeing so many characters working together. It does feel crowded at times, but a team of eleven works really well. The main characters are Danny, Rusty and Linus. At times, the other characters are there just for fun and to get thing done, but they are each given enough personality to be memorable.

I really like how Terry Benedict stay’s relevant throughout the movie, though he does become less threatening as the movies go on.

The movies never feel too crowded. Everyone does their part will and the smooth-talking goes on at a fast pace. These movies are fun the first time through and even better on rewatching since you’ll now when Ocean and his team are doing something important. The best part is the movie doesn’t point out anything.

I just like how slick the movie is.