Monday, February 28, 2011

Movie Review: Inception

This movie took my breath away.

Literally. My ribs hurt afterward because I forgot to breath so many times!

The story follows Dominic Cobb, a man who specializes in entering people's dreams and planting suggestions so he can steal information from them. At the beginning of the story, Cobb is being taken into a Japanese home by security guards, who show an old man that he is carrying a pistol and a spinning top.

The movie then flashes back to where the story really begins--Cobb and a team of two, Arthur and Nash, are attempting to steal secrets from a man named Saito for another company--coporate spying intensified. The mission goes awry and Arthur and Cobb barely escape. However, Saito finds them and offers Cobb a deal--if Cobb plants an idea in a certain subject's mind, Saito will arrange it so that he can go home to his children. Of course, Cobb accepts and goes immediately in search of a team.

Planting an idea in someone's mind, called inception, is something that his right-hand man, Arthur, argues can't be done. But Cobb says he's done it before. And he puts together a team--consisting of Arthur, Saito, a man named Eamus, a young architect named Ariadne, and a man knowledgeable about sedatives, Yusuf--that can pull it off. Only, Ariadne discovers a hitch.

Cobb's memories of his dead wife, Mal, have been taking over every dream he's entered. And she's becoming maniacally nasty.

I can't say any more without ruining the suspense of the story (for those who haven't seen it). On to my thoughts:

This movie is amazing. The story is one that makes every writer I know start wishing they'd thought of it. It's complex and breath-taking scenery is some of the best I've ever seen. I have no complaints about either of those, nor can I gripe about the acting. Instead, I have to warn you that the only way to wake up from a dream that Cobb and his team create (besides a "kick", the sensation of falling that all dreamers have experienced at one time or another) is to be killed or commit suicide. While the killing is mostly bloodless and of dream figures that don't exist in real life, the suicide moments make up a key part of this plot and are cringe-worthy, though all off-screen. It makes the film pretty dark.

And there's quit a bit of cussing.

But, overall, it's a must see movie. Five stars to Inception!

Monday, February 21, 2011

"Write" Happenings ;0)

I honestly can't believe it's the end of February 2011 already. So much has happened since Christmas that I'm not really sure where to start.

Uh, let's see...I went tubing, for the first time in my life, with our church group. I'm now spoiled because tubing with a rope tow to pull you back up the hill is, as my friend Judy put it, "the Cadillac of sledding".

Justin and I just got back from Oklahoma. He had a week of training and we also got to see family. They were too short visits that really made me miss Missouri, no matter how much I love Michigan.

I went skiing for the second time and felt like I was actually gaining some control over those cumbersome waxed boards. Skiing has become, for me, an analogy of the writing life. Most of the time I feel like I'm barrelling down a steep slope with no control, praying that I won't crash and that I make it down in one piece. Then, something clicks, and I suddenly feel like I've got it--until I try to stop and end up doing a 180 and skiing backward before crashing head over heels.

So far this year I feel like everything's clicking. I've written 12,000 words in a novella entitled Dreamwalker, and a 3,000 word short story that I now have to rewrite in the proper tense. That was my 180-and-crash, but thankfully it didn't cripple me. And thank you to Mary, who's responsible for bringing me down to earth. ;0) I have Half Blood to edit and another novel to write, as well as at least two editing projects for friends, and a collaborative novel with Mary and LoriAnn that we're very excited about. And lots and lots of book and movie reviews.

Speaking of...I might up the number of reviews I'm doing, at least for a little while. There are still a few movies I want to review, and I've begun reviewing books for Waterbrook Multnomah and Splashdown Books, as well as finishing my four-book commitment to Marcher Lord Press. Also, watch out! I have at least one author interview in the works. It's gonna be great!

I'm trying some new things on my blog as well...namely, being more "myself" instead of trying to be all authoritive-sounding and teacher-ish when I blog about writing fantasy. We'll see how that goes. My blog's been in existence for almost two years and I figure it's about time to start figuring out what I'm supposed to be writing about. By the way, thank you to everyone who's stuck with me on reading this blog...hopefully it will now start making sense. ;0)

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Chasm by Randy Alcorn

The Chasm is adapted from Randy Alcorn's book Edge of Eternity.

Nick Seagrave has been brought from our world into another, where spiritual battles can be seen, where a red road holds the secret to eternal life, and a chasm awaits those who try to find Charis, the City of Light.

I read Edge of Eternity several yeas ago and loved it. The Chasm is quite short, about 110 pages, and it took me a couple of hours to read. It nicely condenses Nick Seagraves' allegorical journey to Charis into something maybe a Bible study group would enjoy reading together and discussing. Enough is told of the backstory that readers new to the story won't feel lost, and those who have enjoyed Edge of Eternity will appreciate the book's focus on the chasm and the way the Woodsman finally makes it crossable. The only thing I misses from Edge of Eternity was how Alcorn fleshed out the other characters besides Nick.

Altogether, The Chasm makes a short, enjoyable read that will introduce readers nicely to Edge of Eternity.

*I received this book for free via Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group's Blogging For Books program*

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