Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy Author’

Warning Spoilers Below

Candyman 2021, directed by Nia DaCosta, written by Jordan Peele, and starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, appeared to be a retelling/sequel of the classic 1992 Horror film. The story follows artist Anthony McCoy, also known as the baby that was taken and almost sacrificed to Candyman in the original movie. Anthony’s goal is to become a prominent name in the art world. However, to reach his goal, he opens the door to resurrect Candyman through his artwork and loses himself and the life he has built with his girlfriend in the process.

Without trying to give too much away, I struggled to like this film. I tried because I loved the original, and I like Jordan Peele’s work. The storytelling process was a bit much, and I didn’t particularly appreciate how the writers tried to water down the legend that Tony Todd worked so hard to create. I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time, hoping to see Tony.  Honestly, the main reason why I wanted to see this film was that I was hoping to see Tony throughout the film, not just in the last five minutes.  The story about the baby being all grown up was a good concept, but it became lost when the writers attempted to recreate the story by adding “new Candymans” in the mix. The whole idea of trying to turn Anthony into Candyman wasn’t a good idea at all. The haunting elements that made this franchise so thrilling weren’t present. The story was overworked, and the kill scenes were just “blah.”  I will say that I was very excited when I saw Coleman Domingo (FEAR THE WALKING DEAD); however, when his character arc came full circle, it was just another letdown for me. The storyline was a little disjoined despite some elements from the original blended within. Although the cast was ok, I didn’t get that initial chemistry I usually see and discuss in my reviews. I was not too fond of the idea of multiple Candymans and one of them leaving candy on the floor before a victim succumbs to the hook. Another thing I didn’t like was how they tried to alter Daniel Robitaille’s (Candyman’s) origin story.

I still want fans of the original to see this film because it does make a great conversation piece. You will find yourself constantly comparing this new version to the original and analyzing the conceptual process of this film. Unfortunately, the film missed the mark for me, but maybe some new fans will come to like this version. I might attempt to watch it again once it is released on a streaming service.

I gave this film 2 ½ stars.


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Godzilla versus Kong, directed by Adam Wingard, is a sequel that merges the Godzilla and King Kong story franchises beautifully. A couple of years after a fellow Titan awoke Godzilla, the story takes place as fate and humanity’s influence evolves. Godzilla and Kong battle it out to rein as Supreme. As a new manufactured threat is soon unleashed, Kong and Godzilla realize that they are not enemies but allies. The two team up to defend the Earth and protect the people.

This movie was a great adventure that was a long time coming. It was filled with action, and the merging of both storylines added a lot of depth and complexity to the characters. It is rare to see monsters have such personalities and traits that humans relate to. People usually see typical monsters as entities that are not intelligent and are unreasonable. In this case, these characters’ foundations have such a compelling backstory that adds to the elements that make these characters so unique and memorable.

In the beginning, we see an older, gray Kong that appears to be relishing in peace, as if he is enjoying the first years of retirement. Kong has spent his life protecting others and defending those around him. He was a leader, a Real King. (A new foundational story that could come out in a future film). Godzilla, we see a powerful out of this world entity that does his best to find a space in the world that will accept his uniqueness as he molds the space to adapt to his unique needs. He understands the difference between right and wrong throughout this experience and has more human traits than we realized. 

(I love Millie: shout out to Stranger Things and the entire cast of this film, but it was clear that the stars in the movie were Godzilla and Kong.

The movie gets straight to the point and moves fast, which is excellent. The visual effects were amazing, making the fight scenes intense and an incredible experience to gaze upon the screen. The score and sound effects also added to the home theatrical experience while viewing on HBO Max.

Overall, Godzilla vs. Kong was that classic movie you watched as a kid in the 80’s but with an update that incorporates modern technology with futuristic fantasy elements. This movie is worth a second viewing, and I gave it five stars!


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The hobbit Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, directed by Peter Jackson and starring Martian Freeman and Ian McKellen is the last installment of The Hobbit series. The story picks up where The Desolation of Smaug leaves off as Thorin and the dwarves make an attempt to reclaim their mountain home.

The dragon Smaug retreats from the mountain in an effort to wreak havoc upon the people of Laketown. Determined to save his home and his family Bard takes matters into his own hands along with his young son to defeat the dragon. While the people of Laketown seek refuge and the remaining dwarves along with Tauriel try to escape the burning town, Bard defeats Smaug with a single shot from a steel spear.

Bard reunites with his family and the people of Laketown make their way to the Lonely Mountain in order to find a new home. Meanwhile Thorin settles into being a king, but is possessed by the power of his gold. Bard tries to make him share some of his gold in exchange for their alliance so that his people can start to rebuild their lives, but Thorin refuses. Thorin is still in search of the Arkenstone and makes his fellow dwarves look for it. Bilbo finds the stone but keeps it a secret from Thorin with the belief that he will lose himself even more once he has the stone.

Now that the dragon Smaug is dead, he is no longer a threat, and with Thorin not in his right mind, the neighboring races of Middle Earth make their way to the Lonely Mountain to take it and the riches inside.

The armies march to the mountain and Bilbo makes a deal to trade the Arkenstone to the Elvin king Thranduil in hopes that Thorin will fight to defend his lands. The plan backfires and Bilbo is back where he started as he tries to save Thorin from himself. Thorin eventually finds the strength to overcome his greed and starts to embrace the honorable man that he truly is.

The battle of good and evil is on as the forces of darkness try to overcome good, but in the end goodness prevails with a cost. Thorin and the Orc general fight to the death, while Kili dies trying to protect his unclaimed love—Tauriel. Bilbo says his goodbye’s as he makes his way back to The Shire with a very powerful ring that he believes is kept a secret.

The Battle of the Five Armies was a great movie. Jackson did a great job with telling the story, and putting the pieces together and setting the stage for what’s to come in The Lord of The Rings. Even though fans a very familiar with the characters old and new alike, it was nice to see how they each were developed and took shape. Throughout the entire Hobbit series, I made mental notes and referred back to events that occurred in The Lord of the Rings. I really liked how Gandalf, Saruman, and Galadriel’s involvement in the story really evolved. I even appreciated Legolas’ back story, when it came to how he became a loner in the first LOTR film.

The story was very cohesive and well done. The special effects and Score did not disappoint and the overall tone of the film has a very enthusiastic vibe. It’s hard to say goodbye to a story that has impacted fans on such a personal level. The energy behind this project is really historically and creativity epic and I don’t think that any other movie series could ever top it. The cast was wonderful, the visual representation opened up all the senses of imagination and stimulated parts of yourself that only a creative imagination can dream up.

I gave the Hobbit 5 stars and am looking forward to seeing the entire series in order from beginning to end.

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Smashwords About LaTaeya Lane Author of Swept into the Darkness

My debut urban fantasy novel “Swept into the Darkness Chronicles of the Celestial book one has been officially published and is available for purchase on Smashwords.  Within the next couple of weeks my ebook will also be available on Sony, Barnes and Noble.com and Amazon.com .  It’s been a long time since I have had time to write on my blog because I was so busy with making the final edits on the manuscript.  It has been a long road to the finish line when it comes to publishing my book and when it comes to the publishing process the end is never near.  I am currently working on my book trailer which is expected to go live on you tube within the next week or so.  Promoting and advertising is next on the journey so stay tuned for a list of upcoming events and Book tour info.  The paperback version of my book will be released early Fall 2012.

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