Monday, January 31, 2011

Movie Review Monday

Grown Ups (2010)

I'm still recovering from a horrific disease that my 3 year old shared with me, so this won't be very long, mainly because my brain is not functioning correctly.

I was looking forward to seeing this movie because I heard it was hilarious. I don't know if it was because I was sick and in the wrong frame of mind, but I was disappointed. Don't get me wrong, there were parts where I laughed (silently because I lost my voice), but then it got boring. The whole water park scene seemed completely irrelevant.

In reality, the whole move was irrelevant. The feel good part about childhood friends getting together after their coach's funeral and finding the true meaning of family was all right, but I was expecting waaaay more slap stick humor. I mean, isn't that what all of those guys are known for? The verbal sparring was all right, probably unscripted, but it got old after a while. I didn't even finish the movie, so I don't know if they won the rematch. I'm sure they did, why wouldn't they? It was pretty formulaic.

All in all, this movie was probably pretty good if you were sitting around drinking a few beers or male. It had it's moments, but it's not one I'd watch again.

Friday, January 28, 2011

This Week in Writing

Sorry I didn't post earlier, I have been dying. The 3 year old shared his germs, and I have been in bed all day. I am going to make this quick. I DID get some writing done this week, finished writing up two movies. I worked until the Nyquil kicked in, so it should be interesting to see what I actually said.

Hope you all have a healthy and happy weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

We had a book club meeting last night. It was wonderful. We discussed "True Grit" and ate a whole bunch of food. We always try to come up with a food theme that matches with the book, so for this we did food that we'd eat on the trail. I made beef stew, others brought corn doggers, scalloped potatoes, cherry cobbler, and apple pie. Oh, there was baked beans and some other stuff, too. It was really good.

The book was all right, too. If you've seen the movie, it is pretty much the same thing. Dialogue was taken directly from the book. The story had very little variation. It was a quick, easy read, but it wasn't simplistic. If you like Westerns and reading, you'd probably like this book.

I really enjoyed parts of the book, such as the dialect and Mattie's character and her outlook on life. But I did think it was a little slow. It's not really my genre, but I finished the book. That says a lot. There have been many book club books I've started and didn't like so I didn't finish them. If I don't like something, I won't finish it. I'm not one of those people who feels obligated to finish reading a book once I start. I don't have enough time.

So, if you have a spare moment, pick up "True Grit." It's an entertaining story and will pass some time.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tough Question Tuesday

Running a bit behind today, stuff to do at work.

OK, so I meant to post this yesterday, but I decided to tell you about my heartache instead. I'm going to post these types of questions on Tuesdays for fun and to see if I can get you readers involved. If you think of any questions you'd like to ask, email them to me and I'll put 'em up!

If you were a superhero, what THREE powers would you have and why?

Mine are:

1. The ability to mentally teleport myself to any place in the universe. I'm afraid of heights, so I don't want to fly, but I still have to be able to transport myself to the scene of the crime.

2. Super human strength. I need to be able to take down criminals bigger and tougher than me.

3. Super intelligence. I need to be able to outsmart any criminals I come across.

I would love to see what your choices would be. Place them in the comments if you get the chance!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Down in the Dumps

In 2004, I achieved what I considered to be the epitome of my educational career: I received my Master's Degree. My thesis focused on the Friday the 13th films. In the years following, I put my thesis stuff aside and focused on fiction. Eventually, I picked it back up and attempted to have some articles from the work published, which never happened.

About 2-3 years ago, I decided to turn my thesis into a book. What can I say? I'm a glutton for punishment. I worked on it and sent the proposal to a couple of places, but nothing ever came of it. A former friend told me about a certain publisher, and since I didn't have anything to lose, I sent a query. They were interested. They looked at my first chapter and gave me wonderful suggestions on how to improve the book. I got to writing.

In December 2009, all communications with the company ceased. I sent several emails, but never got a response. I assumed that they rejected my book, so I thanked them for their time and moved on (completely, I wrote my YA zombie novel and didn't even think about my nonfiction). In August 2010, I received an email from the president of the publisher, asking if the book was still available and if we could continue our discussion. I, of course, said yes, and I was put in touch with another editor, who was wonderful and gave me more fabulous ideas on how to improve the book.

In November 2010, I finished the first half of the book and sent it off to the publisher for review. With the holiday season upon us, I didn't work on the second half until January 2011. You may recall that I took Friday off to work on it.

Yesterday, I received a rejection. All that time and effort on my part and theirs, and they changed their mind. It was devastating.

I'm still very upset, but the world didn't end and I'm still alive. I have no hope for this book. I don't think anyone will ever publish it. No one wants to read about slasher films unless it's fluff (you know, behind the scenes stuff or how special effects were done). But I'm not going to stop writing. I'm so close. I have a chapter and a half and I'm done. It will probably sit on my flash drive and no one will read it, but at least I will have finished it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Movie Review Monday

Daybreakers (2009)

For the most part, I enjoy vampire movies, especially when they are bloody and gory. Romantic vampire movies have their place, I suppose, but not in my viewing world. I had no idea what to expect from this film, except for what I read on the envelope. It was pretty good.

The movie is set in 2019, 10 years after the plague has transformed the majority of the population into vampires. The problem is that they are running out of human blood, so they are devolving into hideous bat-like creatures. The main character, Ed, and his team are trying to create a synthetic blood to sustain the population. However, that's not working very well.

One night, Ed meets up with some humans, and they start working together to find a cure. Ed is trying to hold onto his humanity, and refuses to drink human blood, even though he hasn't been human for years. I don't want to ruin the intricacies of the film in case you're planning on watching it, but there are twists and turns and wonderfully scary creatures.

The gore in the film was great, lots of blood. Lots and lots of blood. There were even a couple parts that made me jump. The subsliders (I think that's what they were called), which were the bat/human hybrids, were creepy. It was a nice commentary on social standings and how the populace reacts when faced with a crisis.

It was an interesting take on the vampire genre, but some parts were a little slow. However, it was well worth enduring for the end. Again, I'm not going to ruin anything for you, so you'll just have to watch it to find out what I mean, but it was a fabulous gore fest!

Friday, January 21, 2011

This Week in Writing

I have one more movie to write-up and chapter 4 is done! I took today off so I can work on it. I'm hoping to get a lot done. Which means, I need to quit wasting time writing on my blog and get to work!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ugh. This week has been one of those weeks. I've been extremely tired and very grumpy. I think it mostly has to do with the weather. It snowed yesterday, which I don't mind, but then we only had a high of like 10. It was also 10 when I came to work this morning. I don't mind winter, it's actually my favorite season, but I hate subarctic temperatures. If I wanted negative degrees, I'd move to Alaska or Antarctica.

I've been in a quandary lately. I read a blog or article (I can't remember what it was and I can't find it again. Weird) about academic writers needing an agent just like fiction writers. It's basically just nonfiction geared toward a specific audience, but it can be broadened to appeal to everyone (well, maybe some of them can, but I'm convinced not everyone wants to read about experiments in cattle feed and economic ways to maintain them in the winter). Nevertheless, it got me thinking: maybe I can get an agent.

Finding an agent for nonfiction, even when you have a publisher interested in your work, is just as elusive as Bigfoot. But I'm not letting it get me down. Again, I have a publisher who is interested in my work, I don't need an agent to find someone and I have a lawyer to help me review contracts, so why do I need an agent? I've sent out a few queries, and the majority of them have been met with rejection. Really, I'm not surprised. I don't think my nonfiction is commercial enough, but I had to try.

Right now, I'm pretty content being small potatoes. I might not have millions of people clamoring to buy my books, but the few that are are very important to me. The only way to make an impression is to get your work out there. It would probably make a bigger impression if I had an agent and my work was in brick and mortar stores around the country, but that's just not an option right now. I've made my peace with that. So why do I keep torturing myself by sending out queries?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I started watching the final movie for my nonfiction project: the remake of Halloween. I really like this movie. I think Rob Zombie did a great job re-imagining the story and giving Michael background. It's very graphic and bloody, love it! The second one isn't very good, though. It's actually pretty bad. I haven't seen it in a while, but I do remember sitting there wondering and hoping that it was going to end soon. It didn't end soon enough.

I was looking at MSN yesterday and they had an article about all the geek movies (referring to sci fi and fantasy movies) that are coming out this year. Some of them don't look very good, like Battle LA or the Green Hornet, but some of them look really intriguing. There was a trailer for Sucker Punch, which looks bizarre and wonderful. I'm going to have to check it out. There are a few others, and you can see the whole list here. Are you excited for any movies that are coming out?

Other than that, it's been a pretty boring week. Same old, same old going on. So, on that note, I hope you have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had a writing thing, but I didn't give any details. Well, I'm ready to give you the details (it's not that exciting, so don't get revved up).

In November, the publisher of eTreasures, her name is Martha, asked if I would be interested in writing a story for a romance series they are putting out. ROMANCE! I scoffed, but then had a great idea, so I said I would do it. The only information she gave me was that a letter from Cupid started the story, then it had to pair the most unlikely couple. I worked on it a little bit in December, but since I didn't do a lot of writing, I didn't finish.

The week after Christmas, she sent me another email with a little bit more information. Basically, she told me that the story needed to be done by January 5 and needed to be around 12,000 words. I got my butt in gear. I still had some questions, like exactly what the Cupid letter was supposed to contain, so I sent Martha another email. She got me in contact with the editor who was working on the series, and we had a nice phone conversation.

It was during this conversation that I learned my story probably wasn't what they were looking for. According to the editor (who has a blog here), the story was based on Cupids who were competing for a promotion, so they were pairing the most unlikely couples to prove who was the best Cupid. The "letter" wasn't exactly a letter, but the Cupid's report. It was supposed to be a light-hearted/funny story. My story isn't funny. My story takes place in space and is about a guy who doesn't really like women anymore because his wife cheated on him.

I sent the piece anyway, mainly because I said I would do it. I heard back last week, and the editor said she wasn't going to use it for the Cupid series (no surprise there), but she wanted to use it for another series they are planning. I have yet to hear when this series is coming out, but I'll keep you informed.

So, there you have it. The exciting stuff I've been doing. I told you, it wasn't that special, but it was an interesting challenge. I don't write romance, I might have romantic elements, but not straight romance, so this stretched my imaginative abilities. I even put a sex scene in it! A very brief, not-very-detailed scene, but it's there nonetheless! We shall see how the story is received...if/when it comes out!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Movie Review Monday

The Proposal (2010)

I had a lot of people tell me this movie was funny, so we loaded it up on Netflix instant play and checked it out. Surprisingly, it was hilarious! It was also formulaic and a chick flick, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I really like Sandra Bullock. After her initial attempts at films that didn't work very well (Speed comes to mind or Miss Congeniality), she's actually grown into her career. I thought she did a great job in The Blind Side, and I really liked her in this. I was chuckling when they portrayed her as a heartless, no-nonsense editor of a major publishing house. Even though I don't know any personally, I have a feeling this was pretty close to the mark. (I put that phrase out there for someone to prove me wrong. Prove me wrong!)

I really like Ryan Reynolds, too. I can't wait for the Green Lantern to come out. I'm so seeing that in the theater. They had great chemistry on screen, and I could almost believe the relationship. Of course, since it's a romantic comedy, it doesn't really have to be true to real life. That's what makes it so fun.

If you're looking for something light and a little mindless with humorous parts, I definitely recommend this movie. It's the perfect end to a not-so-perfect day or a good way to put off getting some writing done!

Friday, January 14, 2011

This Week in Writing

I've almost completed my section on Black Christmas (2006). The only thing I have left is to input the historical information. My goal was to have it done this week, but I contracted a virus and felt like crap. I know, excuses, excuses, but I would like to see you be productive when your throat is on fire and you can barely hold your eyes open. My plan is to catch up this weekend.

I also started rewatching Psycho (1998). Pretty much like everyone else who has seen this movie, I'm dumbfounded as to why they remade it. I mean, it's pretty much a carbon copy of Hitchcock's version. The mannerisms, the dialogue, the camera shots. A few things have been changed, but very few. Plus, I don't think Vince Vaughn makes a very good Norman. I like Vince, but he's just a little too creepy for the role. The wonderful thing about Anthony Perkins was that he looked normal. Vince just looks like a nut. And he doesn't giggle very well.

I don't think the remake has the same tension as the original, either. And, no, it's not because I know what's going to happen. I knew what was going to happen when I watched the first one, and I still felt the tension. Maybe I'm just being biased. Either way, I still have to watch it (probably multiple times) so I can write about it. Finishing that movie and watching either the remake of Friday the 13th or Halloween are my goals for this weekend.

Unrelated topic: The 3 year old's brain has been working overtime lately. He gets really excited while telling me a story or asking a question, and he starts stuttering or mixing up his words. I just stare at him and tell him to spit it out, and since only the literal part of his brain functions, he pretend spits. It's very amusing. He's done it enough times now that all I have to do is put my hand on my hip, and he'll stop and go "Pchoo." It actually gives him a moment to collect his thoughts and form a coherent sentence. If you find yourself needing to spit something out this weekend, I just hope you don't get it on the other person's shoe!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I am dragging butt today. The 23 month old decided to throw up at 12:45 last night. This, of course, woke up the 3 year old, who started throwing a fit about how he wanted me to sleep with him (I have no idea why. Maybe he was exhausted and a little delirious). I was trying to rinse pink, chunky vomit out of the sheets and not loose my temper with the 3 year old. I think I did pretty well. There was a little yelling...

I am seriously so tired I can't think of anything to say. I had a whole blog planned out in my head, but it's gone now. Don't you just hate that? I think I'll just cut my losses and try to pick up tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sorry today's post is a little late, I had to go to hell, aka the dentist, this morning.

After yesterday's post and Mr. Anthony's generosity, I started thinking about all of the other wonderful people in my writing life. I know a lot of editors, authors, and publishers who have been wonderful influences on my career. I am going to name just a few, but this is by no means an exhaustive list, and I'm not trying to exclude anyone. Know that I appreciate each and everyone of you.

First of all, Shells Walter was kind enough to do an interview. Shells runs Sonar 4 publishing, where I am also an editor. She has been very encouraging and helpful in my writing. Maybe, someday (but don't count on it), I will actually finish the piece that she thinks will make a good comic/graphic novel. She is really a great person to work for, very responsive, and I look forward to continuing working with/for her in 2011. (I'm also planning on having her review my book once it comes out. I hope she's excited! :P)

There is also Lori, who was the host of Sonar 4's radio blog talk and has converted it to her own show. She was kind enough to have me on last June, and we have scheduled another interview for February 27. She has been very good at keeping in contact, and I read her short story blog every now and again when I get the chance (it's listed on the right under Flashes in the Dark).

There are also my friends and fans, who are really the reason why I write. Without you, I wouldn't be where I am today. There are so many of you, I can't possibly list you all, but you know who you are. I am so lucky and humbled to have you. I hope that all of us together can make 2011 a fabulous year, and I hope my writing continues to make you happy!

Thank you to everyone who has supported and continues to support me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The writing world is full of rejection, heartache, and doubt, but there are moments that occur that remind you why you write. These moments can be getting a short story accepted, signing a contract for your novel, or receiving an email from one of your idols who actually read and reviewed your book.

You may recall in November I sent Piers Anthony an email, wondering how he decided which books he was going to review. He was kind enough to write me back and say that he would take a look at mine, though he couldn't make any promises that he would like it. Well, I sent it to him and waited patiently for him to reply.

I didn't hear anything the entire month of December, but I just figured he was busy. Then, when January rolled around, I went and read his newsletter like I always do. There was no mention of my name or book, but he did say something about an amateur fantasy that he wasn't going to review in his newsletter. I thought, "Well, maybe it was mine. Either way, I'll send him an email and thank him for his time."

After sending the email, he wrote me back and let me know that my book had gotten lost in the shuffle, but he would get to it as soon as he finished his other stuff. And he did. I'm not going to share the email with you quite yet. I want to wait until the review comes out at the beginning of February. But know this: he was very honest and professional. I think he kinda liked the story and recommended it to others.

I just have to say that I am over the moon that Piers Anthony actually read my book! By nature, I'm not really one to take chances, I like my ruts and schedule, but when it comes to my writing, I'm willing to go out on a limb. I'm really glad I did. It was totally worth it.

Now, I'm not saying that you should run out there and email your favorite author, hoping they will review your book. More than likely, the won't have time, but that shouldn't stop you from checking it out. Who knows? They might enjoy reading small, no name authors. It was luck and timing that Mr. Anthony was willing to look at my work. In his December newsletter, he explains that he just doesn't have time anymore, especially since he has his own stuff to work on, so I was one of the last ones.

I am truly honored and humbled to have Mr. Anthony read my novel. So far, it's been the highlight of my year! I just can't even tell you how wonderful he is and how he treated me like a professional. I am seriously floating on air!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Movie Review Monday

The Losers (2010)

I'm a big fan of bang, bang shoot 'em up movies, it's one of my favorite genres, but for some reason, this movie was painful to watch. It had everything it needed: mercenaries with a conscious, bad guys with no remorse and the ability to kill children, and explosions. So why didn't I like it?

I think part of the reason was because there was no chemistry between the characters. They were flat. They tried to give them some personality, like Jensen having a niece in a soccer tournament or Pooch having a family, but it seemed forced. I mean, really? These bad asses who covertly go into other countries are going to have ties? Um, probably not. I appreciate the effort to humanize them, but it didn't work.

Then their relationships to one another seemed forced. The film starts out with 4 of them in a jungle playing poker and gambling with weapons. That sets up an expectation right there that the only connection they have to one another is through violence. I understand that after going on so many missions together that they would care for one another, but that didn't come across on screen. They tried, but, again, it didn't work. Roque folded too easily. Clay was way too trusting of women, especially after his track record. I understand that this might have been the point, but it didn't work for me.

The movie was based off a comic book, and I know that there are time constraints in a film. What may have taken several series to build up in a book had to be portrayed in under 2 hours on film, but there are things the director could have done. The Expendables is pretty much the same film as this one, but I thought it was done so much better. The relationships between the men seemed more fleshed out without being overly done, and they didn't have any ties. They tried, but because of the nature of their work, it didn't work out.

The Losers had some funny parts, and I chuckled a few times, but overall I wasn't blown away (literally and figuratively) by anything that occured on screen.

Has anyone else seen this film? What did you think?

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Week in Writing

Before I tell you about my productive week, I promised you weeks ago to post a picture of my new kitty. So, here you go, my killer kat, Alia.

Oh, she looks vicious, doesn't she?


I finished a short story that I was asked to write and emailed it off to the editor. I'm still waiting to hear back, so I'm not going to divulge any details. I will say that I don't think my chances are very good, though. The person who originally asked me to write it wasn't very forthcoming on the details, so I just put something together. When I finally talked to the editor, who had lots and lots of details, I don't think mine fit in with the expectations. Oh, well. I'll let you know how it goes.

I worked on my nonfiction...finally! It felt really good to get back into the writing mode. I did all I could this week, which was only one movie, because I need to watch the other films. My plan for this weekend is to watch at least 2 so I can spend next week typing up their sections.

I am, however, a little freaked out about the future of this book. I sent the editor an email on Monday to find out where my other chapters were in their schedule, and I haven't heard anything back. I know, I know, they were busy with the holidays and are trying to get caught up. BUT, this editor is usually very good about getting back to me, AND back in 2009, it was in December that all communications with the publisher ceased. I kept trying to get a hold of the editor then, too, and he never responded. I assumed they rejected my stuff. They emailed me again in August 2010, and this has been the outcome of that conversation, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to play that game again. Keep your fingers crossed they are just busy.

I'm very happy that the holidays are over and I can get back on schedule. I have a lot of stuff planned for this year, and I'm sure not enough time to get it all done. I'll do my best though! To take you into your weekend, I have another story for you.

The boys and I went to Wendy's the other night for dinner. The 3 year old got this cardboard Yogi Bear thing that had to be put together and made a 3D thing (I don't really know what it was). There were 4 sheets of pieces to put this thing together. My spouse spent about 15 minutes making it look wonderful, grumbling the whole time about how complicated it was. As you can imagine, the 3 year old played with it for about 2 minutes, then started pulling the whole thing apart.

I asked him, "Why are you doing that? Don't you know how long it took to put it together?"

He just looked at me and shrugged. "I don't know. That's just what little boys do."

I hope you have a great weekend where you create wondrous things, and if anyone tears them apart, hopefully *shrug* it will just be what they do!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

To start things off, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I signed a contract for Life After the Undead to be published. It is scheduled to come out in April, and I will keep you informed of the progress. It will be available as an ebook first, then in print. I'm very excited.

The bad news is that I won't be doing audio chapters anymore. The publisher and I talked about it, and we decided that the 10 chapters I've already done are enough to get people interested and want to read more. Her reasoning was: who will want to buy the book if they can listen to it for free? And I agree. (Plus, in my own opinion, I don't think the recordings are very good. They were a great learning experience, and next time I will make them primo!)

On a completely different topic, I have a funny story. My spouse got a predator call. Like any child with a new toy, he had to test it out. When he turned it on, it emitted this awful noise, which he informed me was a pack of howling coyotes. As you would expect, the dog was extremely intrigued and tried to figure out what it was.

The cat absolutely freaked. She puffed up, started growling, then attacked the dog. He wasn't even paying attention to her, and she jumped out and started scratching and batting at his face. It was kind of amusing. We don't know if she felt threatened or what, but the dog took the brunt of it. Priceless! A little later, while the spouse was downloading other sounds, she was very interested in the mouse squeaks. She didn't freak out and attack anything though, she was just curious.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I am a scheduler. I like to know exactly when and what is happening. The older I get, the more I realize how much I like/depend on my schedule. I get upset when my schedule gets changed, and when I'm running late, I get panicky. That's not to say I can't be flexible, I've been known to cut loose a few times, but it's not my favorite thing to do.

I'm a lot like my dad in that sense. He's always had a schedule. I remember in high school me and my friends used to tease him because whenever I wanted to go out, I had to hand him a detailed itinerary (not really, but when you're a teenager, it sure feels like it!) (also, now that I'm a parent, I know that what he was doing was just making sure I was safe. I'm pretty sure I WILL make my boys give me an itinerary!). I think he's a little worse than me when it comes to a schedule, but give me a few years to catch up to him...

In a lot of ways, this personality quirk has served me well. Since I work two jobs and take care of a family, this ensures that I set aside writing time for myself. On the other hand, since I don't like my schedule to get messed with, if someone wants to do something spontaneous, it freaks me out. I'll usually be OK after a while, but it's the initial shock I have to get over.

I'd like to tell you that this is something I'm going to work on in 2011, but it isn't. I like my rut, and I like my schedule. I'm hoping it will serve me even better this year so I can accomplish even more writing.

Do you have any quirks that others might scoff at but you really enjoy?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Has every one's New Year gotten off to the start they were hoping? Mine has. I don't have very high expectations, so if life just continues on as normal, I'm happy-ish. The New Year's Eve party was surprisingly fun, but I paid for it the next day. Not by being hungover or anything, but by being extremely tired. I'm not used to staying up that late and then getting up with the kids. It was a little hard.

I'm trying to get back into my schedule and find my writing niche. I'm also trying to tie up some loose ends from 2010, but that's hard to do when people won't email you back. I keep telling myself to be patient, that they have a lot of stuff to catch up on too, but "patient" is not my strong suit. I'm really working on that. I'll let you know how I do.

Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I don't do resolutions or to-do lists, but I don't begrudge anyone who does. I've actually been reading a few blog posts where people have spelled out their goals for the new year. Do you guys have any goals/aspirations you'd like to accomplish in 2011?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Movie Review Monday

True Grit (2010)

The jury is still out on this one. I'm not a big fan of Westerns, and this was a Western in true form, but it had some weird parts. At some points, I wasn't sure if they were making fun of Westerns or what exactly was going on.

Mattie Ross was a very interesting character. I liked how she believed the law was always in the right. To get her way in many instances, she would threaten men with her lawyer. It worked for those who obeyed the law, but it didn't work on the criminals. It drew a nice picture of how idealistic she was. Her goal was to find the man who shot her father and bring him to justice. She even goes on the journey to make sure he gets brought back alive so he can hang.

However, things don't turn out the way she planned, and her ideals are tested. As is expected, she changes on her journey. I don't want to ruin the film for those of you who are planning on seeing it, so that's all I'm going to say about that.

The other characters in this film were very bizarre. Rooster Cogburn was your typical cowboy, with blurred lines between right/wrong and good/bad. Jeff Bridges did a great job. LaBoeuf was a really strange character. I think he was supposed to be the comic relief, and he was, but he was also a little creepy. The second time you meet him, he's sitting in Mattie's room, watching her sleep. She's 14. He makes a comment about how he was contemplating kissing her, but after her sharp tongue, he might just take her over his knee and spank her (which he does later in the film, and the whole scene is really uncomfortable). *Shudder*

The bad guys were strange, too, but I really liked them. I especially like Tom Chaney because he was played by Josh Brolin. Even as an idiot and cold-blooded killer, that man is still attractive. It was interesting how he was characterized. Again, I don't want to ruin the film, so I won't say anymore.

The reason I don't like Westerns is because I think they are slow. I like action and lots of shooting. This film had a lot of slow moments. I understand the need to show them riding their horses, the journey aspect, but it gets really old after a while. Although, the film also had a lot of funny parts. Like I said, the jury is still out on this film. I need to mull it over in my brain a little longer and compare it to the book, assuming I ever get it in the mail!