Seven Years of This Fine Blog

And I think WordPress has changed its user interface 7 times in the past hour. Zing!

Well, thank you all for being my 3.5 readers. I thought there’d be at least 10.7 of you by now, but as they say, you have to work for every reader.

Movie Review – Monster Hunter (2020)

Monster Hunter? More like Poop Hunter, because this movie stinks!

BQB here with a review of this turdburger with extra butt fries.

I don’t generally write bad reviews. I figure however bad a movie is, at least those people made a movie, and that’s more than I ever did.

But sometimes a movie just seems like such a waste of time, money and resources that it shouldn’t have happened – a big waste for all involved, from the people who made it all the way down to the schmucks like me who were convinced by the awesome trailer to waste 5.99 of my money and 2 hours of my life that I’ll never get back on this thing.

At the outset, it’s a video game based movie, so that in and of itself should have been an early warning. Still, there’s a handful of VG movies that have lived up to their digital counterparts. I’ve never played the Monster Hunter game so I wouldn’t know, but I doubt it.

The first half is a lot of filler. Lt. Artemis (Mila Jovavich) is combing the desert in our world with her loyal unit. Somehow, they accidentally travel with a warp that lands them in a world overrun by monsters. If there’s an explanation as to why this world is overrun by monsters, I missed it, maybe because it was never given or maybe after ten minutes I said, “Ugh this movie sucks” and just left it on in the background while I checked my email, cleaned my house, took a crap, made tacos etc. Not gonna lie. I had to spread this movie out in 10 to 20 minute bits over two days because it was too mind numbing to get through in one sitting.

Sidenote – why are we humans so pre-programmed to not cut our losses when what we thought was a good idea turns out to be a bad one? We stay in bad marriages for life because holy crap, we paid how much money for that wedding reception and we eat crappy food because hey, it’s in front of us and we paid the bill, so…

Back to the review. To the film’s credit, the second half is a special effects bonanza and if you want my advice, you might just want to fast forward through the first half, then check out all the pretty colors at the end. If they’d just put a little more of this in the beginning, it might not have been a yawnfest. I think the producers probably assumed this would be released in theaters (it was if you were willing to brave the Covid) and I admit, some of the human vs. monster scenes at the end would have been cool to watch on the big screen, though whether it would be worth it to go out to the theater and sit there for an hour before something interesting happens, I don’t know.

Ron Perlman’s in it. He gets top billing though he’s barely in it, and frankly if he hadn’t been in it, it wouldn’t have changed the film that much. He gives a brief, fleeting explanation of how Artemis ended up in the world. I wasn’t making tacos during this part so I heard it.

Character development and backstory are lacking. I don’t know much about Artemis, who she is, what she’s been through, so it’s hard to connect with her. There are some mildly humorous scenes when she works through a language barrier to join sides with a monster hunter from this strange new world. (Tony Jaa)

STATUS: Not shelf-worthy. Sad part is, it builds up at the end like they’re going to make a second one and I can’t imagine their being enough fanfare to warrant a second one. If they wanted to erase this one and apologize for making it, refund everyone’s money and just pretend like it never happened, that would be more warranted. Sucks, because I do like Mila but Hollywood hasn’t found a good fit for her since her 5th Element days (with the possible exception of Ultraviolet.)

You might want to wait until it streams for free and then stream it ahead to the last half just to watch the special effects. Otherwise, let this one go and thank me for taking the hit for you.

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Book Cover – The Phone Did It

Hey 3.5 readers.

Wow, look at this. The cover for my next short, The Phone Did It, which I hope to release later this month.

The plot? Jay Ferris is a salesman for a company that has invented the world’s first automated phone. That’s right. This phone can do all the crap work you hate doing. It can write your reports, analyze your facts and figures, pay your bills, do your shopping, schedule your appointments – why, it can even make all those annoying calls you hate making. It will impersonate your voice and call your co-workers, or that pesky, nagging relative you love but don’t like talking to…and then give you a full report later.

Unbenknonwnst to Jay, this phone can also…dun…dun…dun….commit crimes. The phone is scheduled to get the user whatever it wants, so alas, when Jay starts pining over the social media profile of an ex love from long ago, the phone experiences a flaw in the system that takes the phrase, “get whatever the user wants” a little bit too literally.

Here’s the cover, where Jay’s asleep while his phone is committing crimes in his name. Will he go down for it? You’ll have to read the book. (And buy a few other books, will ya?)

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Get All Six of My Shorts – FOR FREE!

I’m Crazy BQB and my prices are insane!!!!!!!

I packed all six of my twisted short stories into one volume, slapped it up on Amazon and this weekend, this collection is FREE! Totally, FREE! My prices are lower than a rattle snake wiggling underneath a limbo stick! If you find a better deal on a better collection of short stories for a price that’s less than FREE, then take it!

GET YOUR FREE BOOK TODAY!

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BQB’s Classic Movie Reviews – The Getaway (1972)

Bank robbers! Shotguns! Double-crosses!

BQB here with a review of the 1972 crime movie The Getaway.

Steve McQueen was (still is posthumously?) the epitome of cool and though 1968’s Bullitt (come for the car chases, stay for the flute solos) will always be his top flick in my estimation, this one might be up there for his second, or perhaps third if you count The Great Escape.

McQueen stars as Doc, an armed robber serving ten years on a previous conviction. Fed up with prison life, he arranges, through his epically (to a fault) loyal wife, Carol (Ali MacGraw – still alive!) for corrupt tycoon Beynon (Ben Johnson – RIP) to pull some strings to get Doc paroled. In exchange, Doc will perpetrate a bank robbery that Beynon will sponsor and receive a major cut from.

Alas, mayhem ensues. Doc is double-crossed by henchman Rudy (Al Lettieri aka The Turk in The Godfather – RIP) and he and Carol go on the lam. Pursued by the police, dogged by con men and other criminals and even a blonde bimbo-tastic Sally Struthers (still alive though compare her today and in this movie and you will shake your fist at time and curse it in an impotent rage.)

Director Sam Peckinpah is known for his violent films which were probably considered way over the top back in the day (see The Wild Bunch for more, or don’t if you have a squeamish stomach.)

All in all, fun to watch though plot wise, it’s just basically husband and wife trying to make it to Mexico with their ill-gotten loot while fending off all comers. Doc packs a mean shotgun, but luckily only uses it to murder other bad guys. When it comes to the police, he only uses it to disable their cars. I assume in the 1970s this was one of those movies that made everyone think they were going to hell if they so much as watched it…yet ironically, bland when you compare to movies and video games of today (see Grand Theft Auto for more, or don’t if you have a squeamish…never mind.)

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. (Note it was remade in 1994 with Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger and as I watched this I thought, “Huh this reminds me of this movie from the 1990s I can’t quite put my finger on…”

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Movie Review – I Care a Lot (2020)

Killer lawyers! Bilked old people!

BQB here with a review of Netflix’s latest movie, I Care A Lot.

Lately, I’ve had misgivings about Netflix. IMO, there’s a few good series and a lot of schlocky filler. They tend to do movies wrong, putting a lot of star power into flicks with scripts that sound like they were written in crayon by hobos on the back of an old piece of cardboard.

But this one was pretty good.

Rosamund Pike wowed us in Gone Girl, but has apparently been typecast as evil women now. Here, she stars as an evil lawyer with her own corrupt guardianship business. The court appoints her to run the lives of elderly people who have no one to look after them. To the casual observer, it appears she is doing a good deed by managing the assets of the elderly, using them to pay for their care in nursing homes and making tough decisions about their health care.

But she’s also profiting big time, seeing old folks as marks, even going so far as to have Jennifer Peterson, a robust old wealthy retired businesswoman who gets along just fine and has all of her wits about her, declared bonkers just so she can put the old woman’s moolah into her pocket.

Ahh, but while so many old folks have fallen victim to Marla’s scam before with no recourse available (she works with a corrupt nursing home to make sure her old charges are kept like prisoners, unable to complain to anyone about their ill treatment and/or that they are being robbed blind), Peterson’s son is a powerful gangster in the form of Peter Dinklage.

And thus, a war breaks out, with Pike and Dinklage trying to one up each other, going to extreme lengths to bring one another down, all in the name of ill gotten loot.

The movie is confusing in that it is hard to find a hero to root for and ultimately, there isn’t one. Pike’s character has a schtick about how people who play by the rules are suckers and getting rich means having to do bad things. That seems rather jaded and surely all rich people aren’t corrupt…right? Right? IDK. Perhaps it feels that way in the decade since Madoff and all the corporate scandals of the late 2000s that led to negative effects for the economy.

Personally, I found myself rooting for Dinklage. He does play a bad person who does bad for a living, but at the same time, it’s kind of glorious that after a lifetime spent bilking old folks out of their money, Marla messes with the wrong old person, someone with a loved one capable of messing back.

The film does give the viewer pause about the guardianship industry. On the one hand, surely not all guardians are corrupt…right? Right? IDK. Surely, many if not most are just good attorneys who manage the assets and affairs of people who can’t do it themselves. Even so, the system, any kind of system, sucks and be it the healthcare system, the legal system, the justice system, or what have you, it’s best to stay out of it for as long as you can because once you’re in it, you’re just a statistic that is passed around blindly, subjected to a vast sea of bureaucracy and rarely treated as an individual. Maybe it’s never too early to set up a plan and spell out legally who takes care of you when you can’t take care of yourself…and also eat your Wheaties because you’re the only one you can truly trust to take care of yourself.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.

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I’m Number One! I’m Number One!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB here.

My big book of badass writing prompts is number one, right at the top 100 free writing skill reference books.

Can you imagine it? Me. BQB. An authority on the craft of writing with the evidence to prove it:

I can’t believe it either. This book has fart jokes, for crying out loud.

But it’s FREE and you can grab your FREE copy here and bask in all my writing skill glory…and fart jokes.

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GET MY WRITING PROMPTS BOOK FOR FREE!

Hey 3.5 readers.

Your old pal, BQB, here.

Get my Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts for FREE! TOTALLY FREE! No money down. Just get your free copy today FOR FREE!

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Free Book Stat Thoughts

Hey 3.5 readers.

So, I’ve gotten hooked on Freebooksy as of late.

I’ve done a few free book promos with them and have a couple more to go. Overall, I’m pleased with the results as I’ve been averaging somewhere between 1500-1600 books given away on each book. I think there might have been one book where it was more like 1100-1200. Still, I’ve never been able to hit these numbers or come anywhere close to it on my own, so I’m sold. I’ll be using them well into the future.

What’s cool is each time I usually get at least one review for the books and some ratings. Social proof seems invaluable. Customers have a lot of options so before they buy your book, they want to see the reviews.

The frustrating part is giving away 1500 books and then only getting like 1 or 2 reviews. I figure a lot of people just pick up the book for free because it was free then never read it. More still will leave it on their virtual shelf for awhile then dust it off and read it later.

Overall, the numbers game is staggering. How many books do I have to give away to get like, 5 reviews? How many do I have to give away before I make actual moolah? Does anyone ever make actual moolah?

I have been focusing on short stories as of late because, short as they are, they get done. I’ve spent years focusing on full length novels that always need another revision, another tweak, another problem where I write myself into a corner and have to start all over again. Short stories are easier, take less time, cost less to get edited and formatted….but ultimately they cost less. I’ve generally found no one will pay more than .99 cents for a short story, which is understandable.

Sometimes I think about getting back to my novels. On the other hand, the short stories are actually getting done and it is hard to argue with a process that is getting something done.

What say you, 3.5 readers?

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GET A FREE BOOK!

I’m Crazy BQB and my book prices are insane! My latest book is priced to move and all virtual copies must go!

3.5 readers, today through Tuesday, you can get a FREE copy of my short story, The End is Nigh, about a wacky conspiracy theorist who stumbles upon something real when a certain government agency that may or may not exist starts chasing him.

Should you get a FREE copy? Yes, because it is a FREE copy and FREE stuff is awesome.

Do you need to read it if you get it for FREE? Yes, you should because it’s funny and witty and awesome like all my books and I say that with great humility but if you don’t want to, that’s fine. It’s a FREE country which coincidentally, my book is also FREE.

Go on. GET YOUR FREE BOOK!

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