Tuesday, May 29, 2018

MOVIE REVIEW: Book Club

MOVIE REVIEW
Book Club
June Pictures / Paramount Pictures
103 minutes
__________

Boasting an impressive cast and
promising an engaging story,
Book Club was one of the films
that I had been really looking
forward to seeing this year.
__________

A lighthearted comedy, the debut from director Bill Holderman tells the story of four lifelong girlfriends searching for meaningful and satisfying romantic relationships while navigating through their golden years. Yet, despite the film's playful premise, the all-star cast's curb appeal and the general likability of the characters, Book Club tends to fall a bit flat.

The matinee showing I attended was packed with moviegoers primarily over age 50. And while the audience responded well to many of the film's laugh-out-loud moments, the story often felt painfully predictable. Featuring Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen, the award-winning ensemble seemed over-qualified for the dumbed-down scenarios and contrived dialog.

Played by Keaton, the character of Diane is only in her late 60s. Hence the concern her daughters project for her well-being is rather over the top. At one point, Bergen's character, Sharon, "connects" with Richard Dreyfuss' character, George. Although they're both amazing, renown actors, the image of them "getting freaky" in the backseat of George's car was less than titillating. Additionally, the sizzle factor between Fonda's character, Vivian, and Don Johnson's character, Arthur, lacked legit "steam." Conversely, the husband and wife dynamic between Craig T. Nelson and Steenburgen was authentic and charming. But in the end, true love prevails, all around — YAY!

In sum, Book Club succeeded in living up to my expectations — sorta. And despite the story's occasional stiffness, it definitely was worth the investment — kinda. (B-)

-Christopher Long
(May 2018)
__________

Score the latest books from author
Christopher Long NOW on Amazon!

(2014)

C'MON! -
(2012)

- SUPERSTAR -
(Coming April 7, 2019)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

THE TOP 10 ALBUMS I THINK YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO (Guest Feature)

THE TOP 10 ALBUMS
THINK YOU
SHOULD LISTEN TO
by Jesse Tanner Long
(Guest Feature)
__________

Pop culture kingpin, social media
aficionado and ice cream master
chemist Jesse Tanner Long returns
with his latest "Top 10" music list.
___________

I absolutely hate picking favorites. This list was a tough one to compile and I left out a few classics like Butch Walker The Rise and Fall of Butch Walker and the Let's-Go-Out-Tonites, Childish Gambino Camp, Van Halen Fair Warning, 50 Cent Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and The Damned Things Ironiclast.

10
KIMBRA
__________

9
LADY RADIATOR
__________

8
TIDES OF MAN
__________

7
YOU, ME & EVERYONE
WE KNOW
__________

6
CLOSURE IN MOSCOW
__________

5
THE SAFETY FIRE
__________

4
COHEED AND CAMBRIA
__________

3
DANCE GAVIN DANCE
__________

2
DEFTONES
__________

1
PROTEST THE HERO
__________

-Jesse Tanner Long
(May 2018)

_______________________________

BE MY "GUEST!"
Do you have something to say, something to get off your chest or an amazing story to share? From pop culture views and reviews to political commentary to messages of faith, my website is a great platform for writers to showcase their work. There are very limited criteria for submitting a post. Your views don't even have to be in line with mine — just create and contribute a compelling, well-written story. Interested? Send me and email.

-Chris
AuthorChristopherLong@yahoo.com 
_______________________________


Friday, May 4, 2018

SUPERSTAR: My Fiction Debut NOW is Completed!

SUPERSTAR
My Fiction Debut
NOW is Completed!
__________

A five-year labor of love 
46 chapters, 60,000+ words.
Hooray, my fiction debut NOW
finally has been completed!
__________

God puts specific people in our lives for specific purposes. However, the true value of certain relationships often is recognized most clearly in hindsight. 

I didn't see it coming — that night in college Bible class during the spring of 2013. Tami had been a classmate of mine for some time. Her two teenage daughters participated in my weekly Youth Ministry group. I'd even gone on a recent missions trip to Nicaragua with her and her husband. Given our established relationship, I wasn't offended that night in class when she offered me a personal critique regarding my writing. "I read your latest book," Tami revealed, as she took a seat next to me at our classroom table. "I enjoyed it," she added. "But you're missing your audience." OUCH!

In short order, Tami began offering me some fascinating publishing insights. Although she seemed to "get" my faith-based perspectives, she commented how most people really didn't care about personal-style Christian non-fiction. "The REAL audience," she stated convincingly, "is in Christian fiction."

I responded immediately with a slew of self-defeating excuses — "I can't." "I couldn't." "I don't know how." "I only write non-fiction."

Calling me out in short order, Tami reached into her huge canvas "mom" bag and retrieved an assortment of related resource materials. She then encouraged me further to take my outrageous show biz stories from the past, mix them up with accounts from my recent ministry experiences, change all the names, and "voila," I'd have a gripping fictional story that would have readers at my future book signings lined up out the door. Challenge accepted.

Of course, the task at hand wouldn't be as simple as Tami may have suggested. However, my writing partner, Bryan Dumas, was "on board" with the project instantly  despite our lack of experience in writing fiction. So, we did our homework — diving into volumes of published work that resided outside of our typical comfort zones. 

Our mission seemed simple — to present a bold, yet authentic and potentially life-changing salvation message — one enveloped in an entertaining, realistic story so compelling, it would hook readers at page one, and keep them reeled in through the closing acknowledgments. 


Bryan and I both had spent much of our lives experiencing various aspects of the professional entertainment industry. Conversely, we'd also both moved into the ministry field in recent years. Hence, we had a near unlimited pool of personal stories from which to draw — ones that reflected our real life accounts from standing on both sides of the spiritual fence.

Another challenge we faced was combining the tales of both worlds convincingly and effectively. We recognized that with a story this powerful, we risked alienating non-believers while potentially also disrupting the "apple cart" of the Christian publishing status quo. Challenge accepted — again.

A true labor of love, Bryan and I have poured five years into developing our story and crafting our characters. Along the way, we sought the guidance of many well-established literary insiders and talented creative consultants — both believers and non-believers. And now, "it is finished."

In the fast-paced vein of a Showtime ratings champ, SUPERSTAR presents an incredible message of faith and forgiveness triumphing over fame and fortune as chronicled through the meteoric rise, scandalous fall and spiritual redemption of fictional country music sensation, Trent Davis.

As we now apply a final editing gloss to the manuscript this weekend and prepare to begin the process of pitching our proposal to potential agents and prospective publishers, Bryan and I would like to invite you to check out our SUPERSTAR "Sneak Peek" and offer us your personal comments. You can find our concise preview HERE.

Looking back to 2013, I recognize more clearly than ever the value in my relationship with Tami. Regardless of where this project takes us, Bryan and I will be forever grateful to her for offering us what seemed like an impossible challenge.

-Christopher Long
(May 2018)

*Since first posting this feature, Bryan and I signed a contract with Moonshine Cove Publishing. SUPERSTAR will be released officially on April 7, 2019!
__________

Score the latest books from author
Christopher Long NOW on Amazon!

(2014)

C'MON! -
(2012)

- SUPERSTAR -
(Coming April 7, 2019)