Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Mad Max Fury Road Review

In a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, two rebels just might be able to restore order: Max, a man of action and of few words, and Furiosa, a woman of action who is looking to make it back to her childhood homeland.

The best thing about this movie was that Mad Max was indeed "mad" and I loved that about him.  The other best thing was that Charlize Therone was pure badass and an inspiration for women everywhere. However, two hours of road rage driving, fires mamings and killing was just too much, even for this girl. the role of Mad Max had to have been the easiest ever because the actor only had to memorize one, maybe two complete sentences, the most memorable being "my name is max". the crazy guitar boy was just, well--crazy-and i still don't get it.  Perhaps the most disturbing scene was of the "milking ladies" because in a post apocalyptic world, they'd have probably turned me into one. r

If i had to rate the movie based on a ranking of 1-5 stars (with 1 being the lowest), I'd give it a 2.5.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

What I'm Reading...

“Because I’m an inbetweener—and the only one anyone knows of at that—the dead turn to me when something is askew between them and the living. Usually, it’s something mundane like a suicide gone wrong or someone revived that shouldn’ta been.”

Carlos Delacruz is one of the New York Council of the Dead’s most unusual agents—an inbetweener, partially resurrected from a death he barely recalls suffering, after a life that’s missing from his memory. He thinks he is one of a kind—until he encounters other entities walking the fine line between life and death.  

One inbetweener is a sorcerer. He’s summoned a horde of imp like ngks capable of eliminating spirits, and they’re spreading through the city like a plague. They’ve already taken out some of NYCOD’s finest, leaving Carlos desperate to stop their master before he opens up the entrada to the Underworld—which would destroy the balance between the living and the dead.

But in uncovering this man’s identity, Carlos confronts the truth of his own life—and death.…

Darkblade must decide where his loyalties lie – will he follow Malekith to the
death, or will he finally rise up and try to claim the throne of Naggaroth for himself? And either way, will he survive?

It has taken decades, but Malus Darkblade has finally plotted, schemed and murdered his way to power, as the ruler of the city of Hag Graef and general of the Witch King Malekith’s armies. But his position is imperilled when Malekith orders an all-out assault on Ulthuan – with Darkblade in the vanguard. As he wages war on the high elves, Darkblade must decide where his loyalties lie – will he follow Malekith to the death, or will he finally rise up and try to claim the throne of Naggaroth for himself? And either way, will he survive?

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Problem with Destiny

destiny |ˈdestinē|
noun (pl. destinies)
1:  something to which a person or thing is destined 2:  a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency

Destiny is one of those words usually associated with positive, wistful ideas like the romantic – a couple destined to be together, or a professional accomplishment – destined for greatness.  We’d all like to be destined for something wonderful and incredible, and we’d all like to think that if we can be true to ourselves, that if we can be steadfast, somehow destiny will take the reigns and lead us right where we need to ultimately end up-that place that answers the questions we all ask, “Why am I here?  Why was I born?  What’s my purpose in life?”

Most of us spend our lives chasing the idea of our own destinies, grappling at the grand possibilities that we believe they may hold.  If we’re lucky, we find that destiny and we cross our fingers, close our eyes and pray that it really is that awesome.  And then, there are some, who know that their destinies don’t include the white picket fence, or a platinum selling album, and they run from them.

… a predetermined course of events often held to be an irresistible power or agency.

The problem with destiny is that it implies that we have no choice in what our future holds for us.  It suggests that we’re stuck with that particular destiny, whether we want it or not.  For example, I was destined to meet my now ex-husband.  Hindsight being what it is, we never should’ve gotten married in the first place, but the result of that union was our daughter, who would’ve never been born had the two of us not fallen into the trap of destiny. 

In my new novel, Daughter of Gods and Shadows, Eden Reid, the heroine, is born into a destiny she would never have chosen for her self.  From the very beginning, she was told the stories of whom she was and why she had been born (or in her case, reborn), so seeking out her destiny was never the issue.  She had been spoon- fed it all of her life. 

In the story, her caregiver, Rose who raised her, taught her the story of the great ancient alien being, Mkombozi the Redeemer of her world, Theia.  Mkombozi had been tasked with saving her world from the Demon, Sakarabru, who threatened to conquer all of Theia.  In order to become powerful enough to defeat the Demon, Mkombozi needed to bond with the Omens, a dangerous undertaking in and of itself.  She not only survived making the bonds, but she destroyed the Demon, and also her world and herself. 

Those ancients who survived made Earth their home and learned to live among humans, hiding the nature of who and what they really were.  But a prophecy foretold of the return of the Demon, and since only the Redeemer could destroy him, it became necessary to resurrect Mkombozi’s essence here in this world.  Eden Reid is that resurrected being.

The stories of Mkombozi and of Sakarabru terrify Eden, who wants nothing to do with this so-called destiny of saving the world—her world.  Being the author, I have an intimate relationship with my characters and I know what’s going on inside their heads.  I understand their thoughts, motivations, reservations, fears, and joys.  And with Eden, I have a deep understanding of her reasons for not wanting to embrace her destiny.

Not all destinies are good.  Not all destinies are bright.  Some are downright terrifying and in Eden’s case, knowing that she is going to have to face this great horror, and that she alone is responsible for the salvation of not only the world, but perhaps even the universe is beyond overwhelming for this 24 year old woman.  She is Mkombozi reborn, but she is also 4000 years removed from her former self, and her life, in addition to being shaped by the stories told to her by her caregiver, has also been shaped by hip-hop, Starbucks, and reality television.   She refused to succumb to this destiny and fights tooth and nail to try and create one of her choosing, a simpler one, with a husband, maybe a few kids, and a dog.

Despite her best efforts to avoid her destiny, while running away, Eden crashes right into it.  It didn’t matter how far she ran or how fast, her destiny was always there, on the fringes, surrounding her and closing in around her. 

Jean de La Fontaine, a 17th century poet said, “A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

Not everyone believes in destiny.  I don’t necessarily believe it until I’m actually in the middle of living it (i.e., the ex-husband example).  Destiny, in so many ways, robs us of our power.  It negates our best laid plans, and makes us slaves to unavoidable outcomes.  Choice, having and making choices for our lives, is the mastery of living.  I guess, what I believe the most is that we choose as often as we can.  We master our lives to the fullest extent possible, but when destiny comes into the picture, we gird up our loins, hang on, and choose to meet it head on.

© Jayde Brooks, February 4, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hollywood’s Crippling Fear of Marvel’s Storm

Okay, Hollywood.  You’ve had numerous chances to get it right and you have failed miserably.  Storm is not a sweet, little flower, eager to extend a nurturing and helping hand.  She’s not the Halle Berry version (sniveling, apprehensive) that you so aptly butchered in the X-Men films.  If you ask me, your version of Storm was an embarrassment to not only black women, but to all women. 

(She looks like a Disney character.)

Have any of you even read the fucking comic books? 

So now you’ve killed off the Halle Berry version only to replace her with this pretty, young sweet thing who, I’m sure is a decent enough actress (she didn’t butcher the role of Lifetime’s Aliyah biopic) but is as far removed from being an African Amazonian Kick-ass Goddess as possible.  Yes.  Casting Halle Berry was a terrible decision and my beloved Storm was reduced to a fragile, castrated version of her fierce and wonderful self.   But you weren’t listening.  NOBODY liked the casting of that actress as Storm.  So you had a chance to start over and get it right, and what did you do????? 

(Pretty girl...but really?  I mean...  Am I the only one hoping for something different?)

You did this!  You cast a younger version of Halle Berry, overlooking the fact that the bad-ass-ness of Storm should scare the hell out of people.  Her beauty should be a raging storm of its own.  She is a goddess!  An African Goddess who stands 5’11” tall, and I’d be willing to bet she weighs in at close to 200 pounds of solid muscle!  She can command the fucking elements for crying out loud.  I mean—who does that?  Who does that and then walks around like some people-pleasing beauty queen whose smile can light up a room when she walks on set? 

Storm lights up the room with lightening!  Not a smile.

Yes, Hollywood, you pathetic cowards!  You blew it—again.