Monday, June 24, 2019

Aladdin Review

Aladdin (2019)

I saw Aladdin! I hadn't actually been planning on seeing it in theaters, but we decided to go for Father's Day and I'm glad we did. It was SO GOOD. So much to love.

First off, I'd better say that I've only seen the animated movie a handful of times. I saw it once at my great grandma's house when I was little, and then, due to the Disney vault and whoever stole it from the library, I didn't really watch it again until the Bluray came out a couple years ago. So there isn't a boatload of nostalgia with the cartoon to compete with like there is on a lot of other Disney movies. That said, I still really like the animated movie, and I wasn't sure how the live action would hold up. I shouldn't have worried at all.

I'll just go ahead and say the one thing I didn't really like about the movie. Jafar. It's not that the actor necessarily did a horrible job, per se, though it could have been better, but he just really didn't look the part. He didn't look cruel and evil, and Jafar's supposed to have that creepy evil look. See?

As opposed to this:

Plus, like a coworker of mine said her husband pointed out, he wasn't old enough.

One thing I think we were all worried about was how Will Smith's Genie would compare to Robin Williams's. There's only one Robin Williams. And Robin Williams's Genie was very special. But I was actually very pleasantly surprised with Will Smith's Genie. I don't know why I wasn't expecting him to float in the air, change his appearance to fit some of the comedy, etc. CGI can obviously do that now. Of course, it wasn't as much as in the animated movie, but he still behaved like Genie. But yet slightly different. And he was still blue part of the time. Just not when he was trying to blend in as a human. And he even gets a girl in this one! No, no one's ever going to quite match Robin Williams. But he still did a fabulous job.


And when they did "Friend Like Me." :D My sister and I were both so excited when the song started.


I liked both Aladdin and Jasmine. Jasmine doesn't exactly look like I'd expected...not like the cartoon or the girls at Disney it took a bit to get used to, but I ended up really liking her. And her costumes are actually pretty modest! They were well cast, and I just love them. They played their characters well.

As for the story and how it compares to the cartoon, yes, it's the same story. I don't think there are any real twists, unless you count Genie meeting a girl. But it didn't feel like a shot-for-shot remake either. It the same enough to be the same Aladdin we all love, but different enough to not feel like the filmmakers cheated. (Like with Beauty and the Beast. Didn't like that one so much, though that's partially because I didn't like Emma Watson as Belle.) I felt like it was the same story but different more in the vein of Cinderella, though of course, Aladdin was still a musical, while Cinderella wasn't. And oh my goodness gracious. The scene after "Prince Ali" when Aladdin is presented to Jasmine and the Sultan. Just wow. Like Genie said, 10,000 years, and he's never been more embarrassed. But I loved it so much. Jams. XD

And then there are the songs. I'm so glad they included the songs. I've been listening to the soundtrack so much. It's mostly the same songs from the original, and I love them. Like I said, I was so excited when "Friend Like Me" started. "A Whole New World" makes me so happy too.


And then there's the new song, "Speechless."


It seemed to have somewhat of a different feel from the other songs, but I still loved it. It's very Jasmine. All about how her supposed role is just to stand there in the background and let others rule her kingdom. Just be silent. Not say anything in defense of her people. But she won't do that. "Speechless Part 2" in the climax of the movie is her finally breaking free, standing up to Jafar, refusing to stay speechless. Doing what it takes to save Agrabah. And I love it.

So no, Aladdin wasn't a perfect movie. But I love it so much and I can't wait for it to come out on Bluray so I can watch it again and again. Now excuse me while I listen to the soundtrack for the 500th time this week.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Giveaway Winner and Realm Makers Update

And the giveaway is finished! The complete set of Time Captives new editions goes to Cassandra D. Congratulations! I'll be emailing you for the information I need to get you your prize.

Several bloggers helped me promote the new covers, so here's the links to their blog posts so you can check them out!

I finished my Anna dress! The appliques were a BEAR to put on, but once I figured out what I was doing, it was just super duper time consuming. But hey, I was able to finish The Books of Bayern on Full Cast Audio, so that's awesome, and I LOVE my costume.

So that's ready. One thing done for Realm Makers! I've also got copies of Time Captives ordered for the consignment sale, so if you're going to be at Realm Makers, you'll be able to buy the brand new editions in person.

I've gone through family edits on Acktorek, which included eating two carrot sticks at once and acting out scenes to make sure they're actually possible. It's been interesting. I've also worked on a logline and on the back cover copy. It's definitely getting close to complete! Aaaaaalmost ready for pitching at Realm Makers. Here's my logline:

When a blind teen gains the uncanny ability to manipulate energy, her skeptical sister must join forces with a rookie secret agent and unravel the mystery before his devious boss ends her life.

So those are the main things I've been working on. I've also got business cards ordered, and I really like the way the design turned out. Realm Makers is almost here!

P.S. Just saw Aladdin and it was pretty awesome. I didn't think Jafar looked evil/scary enough, but other than that, it was great.

Monday, June 10, 2019

The New Covers For Time Captives Are Here!

The new covers are here!!!

I'm super duper excited about these covers! I also want to give a humongous shout out to Jaye L. Knight. She gave me sooooo much advice as I went through the process of creating these covers, and they would not be what they are without her. She's seriously the best.

Something else big with these editions (and yes, I'm being mean and writing things for you to scroll through before you can see the covers) is that I have my own imprint! I bought a block of ISBNs to use for my books, so now I'm ShireWood Press. It's super exciting to me and I love my ShireWood logo and website. We'll even be using ShireWood Press to publish my great great grandpa's poetry in one volume for the first time later this year. Some cool stuff. :)
Now, here's what you've been waiting for:

So what do you think? I personally love the new look, and they're sooooo much better than the old covers. More representative of the story inside.

I'm going to be giving away one set of the brand new paperbacks, so be sure to enter! Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

I've also put my remaining copies of the 1st edition on sale while supplies last, so while these aren't as pretty as the new ones, it's still an opportunity to get paperback Time Captives books for half off!

Creighton Hill

The Crossways

Crannig Castle