Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Bard Reviews: Looper (DVD)

Film description: In the futuristic action thriller Looper, time travel will be invented - but it will be illegal and only available on the black market. When the mob wants to get rid of someone, they will send their target 30 years into the past where a 'looper' - a hired gun, like Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) - is waiting to mop up. Joe is getting rich and life is good - until the day the mob decides to 'close the loop,' sending back Joe's future self (Bruce Willis) for assassination. The film is written and directed by Rian Johnson and also stars Emily Blunt, Paul Dano, and Jeff Daniels.

Looper is a rare film that tries to do more than just entertain with a slick premise and pointless action. (Like that awful Total Recall remake) This is science fiction, which is supposed to make you think as well as entertain you.

I'll start off by saying that it was refreshing to see Bruce Willis in a movie where he's not just cashing a check on his Die Hard persona. I haven't enjoyed a performance from him since Twelve Monkeys, which certain aspects of the film give just a slight nod to.

Joseph Gordan-Levitt proves once again that he's capable of lead man status with his multi-layered performance as a dead man walking who gets the wake up call of his life while literally facing his own future.

They dystopian version of the future was realistic and veers away from the constant Blade Runner knock offs that we've seen time and again in sci fi films. The darkness in this future isn't in endless scenes of darkness and rain, it's in the souls of its inhabitants.

The only thing that I'd knock is that the story tries to encompass too many themes at once, which isn't such a bad thing when you compare it to the trivial plots of so called films that are being produced right now. Time travel and meeting one's future self is quite a load, however, and would have been perfectly sufficient without the additional moral quandary of whether it's acceptable to kill someone before they have a chance to become the worst type of person.

Still, the beauty of the story is that it manages to juggle all of its themes without dropping the ball. The characters are fresh, the acting superb, and the movie ends cleanly, wrapping up the time travel paradoxes with a single act.

The only thing I regret is not seeing this sooner. Four out of five stars.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Perfect Book Covers: Peter Bergting

Still thinking of creative uses for this blog, so I think I'll do a weekly share on images that I think are perfect for book covers.

When it comes to book covers, I like to see at least one of three things:
1)An eye-catching image
2)A rendering of at least one of the main characters
3)An idea of what kind of book I'm buying.

I've seen this image for years, so I thought I'd share it first. I've used it as a personal avatar a few times, especially during my 'Bard of Darkness' years of writing poetry. I was pleased to track down the author, Peter Bergting, who does professional illustrative work for book covers and graphic novels. You can find his site here.

What I like about this image is that it instantly grabs your attention. The mysterious masked figure could be hero or villain. He (or she) appears powerful, and the book in hand lends knowledge or great learning to the person. And yet the individual could also be skilled in combat as well, judging by the armor. The artistic circle centers the piece, drawing the eye to the image, and the darkness of the figure stands out clearly from the background. All it needs is a title and author's name and it would be perfect for a fantasy novel featuring a mysterious, powerful hero or anti-hero.

This piece of art includes all three elements I noted from the beginning. The picture is eye-catching, the figure is perfect for a title character, and it is definitely well suited for a fantasy novel, or even a dystopian/sci fi space opera.

Make sure to check out more of Peter Bergting's work at his website.

More perfect covers are featured in my Pinterest board of the same name.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Summer Kindle Fire Giveaway!

Kindle Summer This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. New Adult Addiction
  4. Jessabella Reads
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
  6. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  7. S.A. Larsen - Writer's Ally
  8. Author Inger Iverson
  9. The Geeky Gamers
  10. annakyss
  11. Everyday Word Magic
  12. Candance's Book Blog
  13. Page Flipperz
  14. SMI Book Club
  15. Laurie Here
  16. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  17. Phantasmic Reads
  18. The Book Bellas
  19. Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses
  20. Author Jennifer Laurens
  21. J.C. Valentine
  22. Holly Hood
  23. Young Adult Novel Reader
  24. Author Heather Bixler
  25. Literary Meanderings
  26. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  27. Mother Daughter & Son Book Review
  28. Meredith's Musings
  29. Auggie Talk
  30. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  31. Author Lena Sledge
  32. LoriTheAuthor
  33. Author Dianne Venetta
  34. Curling Up with A Good Book
  35. MyLadyWeb
  36. Fae Books
  37. Bea's Book Nook
  38. Girls with Books
  39. Ketch's Book Nook
  40. Turning Pages
  41. Bookhounds
  42. Karey White
  43. My Devotional Thoughts
  44. Author Talia Jager
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Sher A Hart: Written Art
  47. Author MK McClintock
  48. Word to Dreams
  49. Buku-Buku Didi
  50. Tasty Book Tours
  51. Readerlicious
  52. Romance Bookworm's Reviews
  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE. Ends 8/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway