Tuesday May 31, 2016
Book 16: Big, Dumb Objects — Part IV

X-Men: Apocalypse

XMenApocalypseAs much as I enjoyed this movie, I am very much ready for a superhero movie in which the story is not about how we react to the existence of superheroes. Apotheosis makes for a good story, and that’s why we have gotten so very many films that deal with it, and quite a few of them have been excellent, including this one.

X-Men: Apocalypse clears my Threshold of Awesome (no shaky cam! Not even during the scene where all but the pure in heart would have said it’s okay to shake the camera) and as far as I’m concerned it is a worthy successor to X-Men: Days of Future Past in pretty much every way.

Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, and James McAvoy all turn in stirring performances, and the newcomers (new to me, anyway) held up their end of the stick with the sort of heroic aplomb that is required when a story about actual absolute power is being told.


The Angry Birds Movie

TABMThe Angry Birds Movie is better than it has any reason to be. Lots of movies pull this off, but this movie manages to turn a mobile puzzle game into delightful cinema. That divide is huge, the chasm that must be cleared is—no, I’m not going to use that metaphor. The slingshot joke is low-hanging fruit. You can all see it coming, and the film deserves better than a metaphor pulled from the bottom branches of the tree.

That principle, “don’t settle for the low-hanging fruit,” is what makes The Angry Birds Movie so delightful. The story follows a predictable form, and there are tropes that simply must be present for the story to flow, but the filmmakers were not willing to settle for simply filling out the forms and making it pretty. And I’m not talking about “exceeding low expectations.” No, this film is what happens when a storyteller who takes pride in their work seeks to exceed their own expectations.

For me, The Angry Birds Movie is the second surprisingly enjoyable video game adaptation this year. It gives me hope—actual hope, complete with giddy anticipation—that the Warcraft movie can clear the “better than it has any reason to be” bar with the same amount of air.¹

The Angry Birds Movie clears my Threshold of Awesome, and yes, if you look at my list, I did, in point of actual fact, have more fun during that film than I did during Captain America: Civil War.


¹If there are pigs in the Warcraft movie, I want that movie to clear the bar, then sail across the screen and knock down their houses­².

²THERE I got it out of my system.


Force Multiplication Pre-orders are Open

You may now begin preordering Force Multiplication: Schlock Mercenary Book 12. Here are some links for clicking!

  • $20.00: Force Multiplication, signed
  • $30.00: Force Multiplication sketch edition, signed and numbered

Do you need more than just one Schlock Mercenary book? We have a bundle for you that shaves $50 off the cover price.

  • $190.00: Books 1-12, all signed
  • $200.00: Books 1-12, all signed, and Force Multiplication is a numbered sketch edition

Sketch editions are limited, and typically sell out within about a week. You should place your order quickly if you want to get one of those. 

The bonus story, "Risk Assessment," written by Sandra Tayler, and illustrated by Natalie Barahona, is my favorite bonus story to date. I handled voice- and continuity-editing, and did all the art direction. Sandra and Natalie really stepped up and delivered. 

Force Multiplication is the first of the Act III stories in the grand mega-story of Schlock Mercenary. I'm really pleased with the new cover design, which we'll be using for books thirteen through eighteen, which is good, because that's a lot of books. 

It's kind of surreal for me to look at sentences like the one at the end of that paragraph, and realize that we have a dozen books in print.