spreading the talent

Uncategorized

Think, Sip, Write: ep34 – Movies for foodies & writers

Join us as we chat about some great movies aimed at our professions.  Any foodie, writer, chef, or reader will love our selections.  Comment with your own addition if we missed it. #thinksipwrite


Radio shout outs

My wife was interviewed on a radio station here in Philly.  During the segment they chat briefly about my books.  Give it a listen at the link below.  Skip ahead to the 16:30 mark to hear her spot.  Follow her on social media @homemadedelish, on facebook @RobertaPipito, and on her site at http://www.homemadedelish.com

http://957benfm.com/episodes/120/


Trailer – A Little Boy in The Land of the Sleepless Knights

Check out the trailer for my new children’s book A LITTLE BOY IN THE LAND OF THE SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS, available now with art by Dan Pipito


A Little Boy in The Land of the Sleepless Knights

knightsToday is new release day for A LITTLE BOY IN THE LAND OF THE SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS!!!!  My second children’s book (which exists in the same universe as A LITTLE GIRL IN THE LAND OF THE HICCUPS) is now available in print.  Grab your copy today at http://www.lulu.com.  It will also be available in other markets soon, but why wait, when you can get a first edition printing, and add on any of my prior books as well?

A LITTLE BOY IN THE LAND OF THE SLEEPLESS KNIGHTS was written for my son nearly two years ago.  It took a while to get it right, but it was worth the wait.  It’s got fantastic artwork by my brother, Dan Pipito, and a heart warming story with a lesson.

When a young boy refuses to sleep he finds himself trapped in the Land of Sleepless Knights. This is where all children go when they don’t get enough rest. Can he figure out how to escape in time or will he turn into one of the Knights and be consumed by the Cranky King?

 


Review: Once Upon A Time Season 6

once_upon_a_time_season_6Fairy tales have certainly influenced my writing of children’s books, and even come to life to some extent in my novels (particularly BONES AT BREAKFAST).  It is no secret that I enjoy them, but am very picky about what I choose to watch.  Once Upon a Time has always grabbed my attention because of its inclusion of not just Disney versions of the tales, but also classic literature.

While Season 5 was a big dud in my mind, it had its high points.  Season 6 goes back to what made Season 1 so good, and included more classics.  It escaped the fairy tale world and made its way into some great fiction literature.

The Good: The additions of Aladdin, Mr. Hyde, Count of Monte Cristo, and a few others worked quite well, while characters like Cinderella finally got a proper back story.  The Evil queen vs Regina started out a little rough, but by the end I liked what they did with it.  The whole season provided a great canvas to end the current run of characters and it properly sets up season 7 as a reboot with Henry being an adult.

The Bad: There were still flaws with some of the narratives.  I feel that the Wicked Witch was wasted here, and Rumpelstiltskin was slightly under used, even though they both played a key role.  Emma and Hook were great together, but to me it seemed very redundant with Emma’s role this season.  Her performance didn’t move me at all, nor her story.  Even though they used other classic tales, I feel like it still lacked for the most part in diversity (as far as types of stories).

Overall: It wasn’t the best season, but way better than the worst.  The fact that they are rebooting next season is a welcome addition, but I’m still cautious with my hopes.  It could go two ways… 1) it could end up being a fantastic reboot, pretty much ignoring or only referencing the original characters.  Using them as cameos as fine, but I no longer want to see those people as a focus (except Henry’s story).  Although I wouldn’t mind Regina and Rumple still having significant roles.  They have a blank slate where they can go more horror with Dracula, more Frankenstein, etc etc that would really make it feel new.  Or 2) They could just rehash the same formula and have nothing new to bring to the table.  I’m hoping for the former, but in the meantime I’ll rate Season 6 with 4 out of 5 sCrypt coffins.

What were your thoughts?  And Where would you like the series to go from here?  Comment below.


Review DC TV shows 2016-2017 seasons

It’s time to review DC Comics’ Television properties, and how they fared this season.  I’ll keep it fairly simple this time around, but will take an overall look at the following: DC’s Legends of Tomorrow season 2, The Flash season 3, Arrow season 5, Supergirl season 2, Powerless season 1, and Gotham season 3.  I’ll also mention the crossover episode “Invasion” as a separate entity.

First up is Legends of Tomorrow Season 2:

dctvWhile the first season was subpar, the concept improved for the second season.  The good: The characters were all done well.  They were really the focus of what made this year work.  Finally seeing a version of the Legion of Doom was a much better antagonist than Vandal Savage the year before.  The cliff hanger at the end of the finale was also really great segue into making me want to come back for at least the premier of ssn 3.  The Bad: The writers of this show have no idea what they are doing with time travel.  They talk about time aberrations and how they are supposed to stop them from happening, but the characters have no problem sleeping with other people from different timelines or killing them.  Then they worry about one mistake that Stein made by talking to his younger self which created a daughter he never had.  I call B.S. that this would be their worst problem.  Overall: This show is just painful to watch.  I keep watching because the comic book nerd in me desires to see these great characters.  There are moments that make me smile, but overall it’s not something a regular audience of non-comic book fans would want to see.  If they could understand a little more about the potential of traveling through time, then it’d have potential, but otherwise it’s just sloppy writing.  I give season 2 a sCrypt rating of 2.5/5.

Supergirl Season 2:

Where to begin… hmmm… The transition of this show to the CW really hurt it, but I can’t just blame the station move.  The Good: Martian Manhunter, Superman, Mon-El, The Guardian and Teri Hatcher were the best things about the season.  Their stories were good, and though I had reservations about the Guardian, he turned out to be quite enjoyable.  The Bad:  Oh where to begin.  Fire all the writers.  It’s the only thing that will save this show because it’s downright hard to watch.  First off is the Alex and Maggie relationship.  I get it.  They are an item.  I have no problem with a lesbian couple in the show, but this was so forced and hard to watch it made me cringe.  They spent more time focusing on this unnatural progression into a gay relationship that it often overshadowed the main narrative.  I knew we’d have Maggie in some sort of relationship with a woman too, but it could have been anyone else.  They changed Alex (who showed that she had an attraction to men in the first season) to being an item with Maggie.  The two characters on their own could be great, but the way this was forced was so bad the writers seemed like amateurs.  And before anyone claims that I’m bashing the LGBTQRSTUV community, that is not the case at all.  I’ve got friends and family who fall into that category.  I would have the exact same issues if they did this with straight characters because it was so badly done and took center stage over the rest of the plot.  Then they cut Cat Grant out of the picture… then they had Supergirl beat Superman in a really lame fighting scene that went on way too long for its lack of showmanship, then they changed Cat from one political standing to another without explanation and tried to force a message, then they had Lynda Carter as an alien president without much explanation as to why they would not feel threatened by a president who had the biggest lie of any president (and that’s saying a lot nowadays), then there’s that weird ending which I can only assume means we are getting Doomsday on a TV budget when they couldn’t even do it right in the movies.  WTF writers?  Did anyone watch this heaping bag of horse manure before they decided to air it on television?  Ugh I’m done my rant.  Overall: When a hero like Supergirl with some major characters is worse than watching a show with bad time travel in its writing, there is something amiss.  I can barely give this second season a 1 out of 5 sCrypt Ratings.

Arrow Season 5:

Thank goodness this got better.  While last season was subpar, this season was my favorite by far.  The Good: Everything in the latter half of the season was great.  I was upset at first that they were going to do ANOTHER Black Canary instead of reforming Laurel of Earth 2, but when it turned out her name was Dinah Drake, I accepted it.  Hopefully we see her and Oliver as an item and keep that Arrow / Black Canary love story.  Deathstroke’s return and the whole final episode was very emotional.  Season 6 could quite literally be a reboot to the whole series with just Oliver and his son, but I’m assuming one or two people will escape the island.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Diggle, Dinah, Speedy, and Slade to have survived.  The Bad: In the beginning of the season it was very rushed.  They jam packed all these new recruits onto the team, and it took away from story.  Wild Dog was annoying at first, but I grew to really like the character.  Other than the expansion of “Team Arrow”, I didn’t find much wrong here.  Overall: There’s a lot they can do for the next season now that the flashbacks are all caught up.  I have no idea where they will go with it, but if they continue this approach it’d be more than welcome.  I give season 5 of arrow a 4.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

Invasion Crossover episode:

I didn’t think they’d be able to pull off crossing over Supergirl, Arrow, Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow, but they managed… sort of.  Obviously their budget had limitations, but the story worked and each character was utilized well.  If I had one complaint it would be that it really wasn’t a 4 part episode, because it began as a stinger at the end of the Supergirl episode, which was rehashed in Flash.  Despite this false advertisement in my mind, it was enjoyable.  I give it a 3 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

The Flash Season 3:

This season had its ups and downs.  The Good: Jay Garrick and Wally West were very welcome in this season.  The Flashpoint approach was done well, and Killer Frost’s story really hit the mark; even if I wanted to see her become a full fledged villain at the end.  Who knows where that’ll go.  They hit an emotional level with the viewers too that won’t be forgotten.  The Bad: Savitar, while not all that horrible of a villain just looked really stupid.  I hated the costume, and wasn’t really sold on the true reveal of his identity.  The story felt drawn out with some great filler episodes to break it up, but that detracted from the continual plot.  There was a point during the Grodd storyline (which I loved, so it’s not all bad), that I almost forgot about Savitar’s threat.  Overall: They managed to clear up some of the cluster-F that was last season, and created a pretty decent flow.  The twists and shocking reveals really held it high on the standards chart.  If there is any season finale that sets up the premier of next season it would be this one.  I hope we see more of Jay Garrick and even Wally suiting up as the Flash would be great.  As long as there isn’t another speedster as the main villain I think Flash can do a whole lot more.  I give it 3.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

Powerless-S01E04-1080p-HDTVPowerless Season 1:

I’ll get straight to it.  The Good: If you enjoy the Office, and it’s type of humor, then this show is for you.  It’s funny and creative.  I loved the characters, and the fact that they are a little over the top.  It sounds like a dumb idea, but the show really worked for me.  It was a break from all the other comic book shows on television right now.  The Bad: Aside from very horrible budget effects and cosplay looking costumes, the only other bad thing I can say is that it was cancelled.  Overall: If I had to say that there was one show that paid homage to the comics, while feeling refreshing it was this one.  I only got to see the first 9 episodes, as the final 3 were pulled when the show was cancelled.  If more people gave it a chance, I think it’d have been a hit.  I give it a 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings, which would have gotten a whole other point if not for the costumes and effects.

gotham-season-3Gotham Season 3:

The latter half of the season renewed my faith in the show, but it’s still got a lot of work to do.  The Good: The way the villains were handled, and Bruce’s evolution were great.  I feel like the creators are starting to get that Batman feel without the Bat.  I can’t emphasize more that The Riddler and Jerome/The Joker were the best thing all season.  The Bad: Penguin being gay isn’t the issue, but the way they made him during that story arc was flat out pathetic.  He didn’t even seem like the Penguin during that batch of episodes.  It makes sense to make him gay if they were going to because he’s one character that never really had a love interest in the comics.  I just wish they could have made him as good a character as he was before this season, and after Ivy saved him.  Gordon still seems flat to me as well.  Every scene with him and Lee made me cringe.  There are also inconsistencies in the writing.  Why did Freeze’s gun not kill his last victim, when it did so to everyone else?  There was also an opportunity to use the same casting for Ra’s Al Ghul as with Arrow to connect the shows in some way, but they failed to do that.  Overall: It’s starting to really feel like it fits in with the rest of the shows, even to the point where I wouldn’t mind having a crossover if it made sense to do so.  There’s a lot of things set up that make it convoluted, but can be handled well.  At this point I’m not sure how they can keep with the current path without a Batman in there, and though we saw Bruce suit up as some vigilante he’s still way too young and immature with his thinking to become the full fledged Bat.  Time will tell.  I give the season 2.5 out of 5 sCrypt ratings.

What did you think of these shows?  What were the high and low moments for you and where do you see them going?  Comment below, and let’s discuss.  P.S. I realize I didn’t put Izombie in here.  The reason is because I just can’t watch it.  It’s appalling.  Maybe you disagree.


Think, Sip, Write: Ep 33 – I Wish

If you found a genie (djinn) in a bottle, what would your wish be?  Roberta joins me as we discuss that topic in our latest episode of #thinksipwrite.


Talkin Wit Tony

Famed cheesesteak king, actor, television host, and good friend of mine, Tony Luke Jr has a new show on YouTube called “Talkin’ Wit Tony.”  The first episode is out now, and I was mentioned a few times in it.  My wife, Roberta (www.homemadedelish.com) is his first guest.  Watch now for some laughs and great entertainment.


Review: Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD ssn 4

Agents_of_S_H_I_E_L_D__season_4_posterMy season end reviews kick off with Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 4.  I did a review mid season, so I won’t get into too much detail other than a few minor spoilery things, and general thoughts.

Overall, this season was superb.  The writing strayed from campiness and into darker territory.  While this can be a curse for a lot of shows or movies, the darkness worked here because of Ghost Rider’s inclusion and the Dark Hold.  Both were handled very well.

The second half of the season gave us an alternate “What If” world created by AIDA.  Her role as Madame Hydra was surprising, but also a welcome addition to the plot.  Usually I’m not for the combination of characters, but in this case it was handled well.  The emotional buildup especially with Mack and the loss of The Patriot, gave the show a more realistic feel.

It’ll be interesting to see where it all leads next season.  There’s Mack and Yo-Yo who will obviously be in a strained relationship, but they aren’t the only ones.  Fitz and Simmons have an interesting new dynamic with Fitz’s dark side having affected everyone, and Coulson and May also have some places to go.

We are left wondering a few things: 1) Where are they at the end?  Is this a SWORD installation in space?  2) With the Inhumans on the run again, will this be how they introduce the new Inhumans show?  I’d like to see Daisy make an appearance somehow.  3) Where did Ghost Rider go exactly?  and finally 4) Who will be the big bad of season 5?

Time will tell.  From what was once a cringeable series, it has now become something I look forward to.  It’s not quite up there with Netflix shows, but that’s to be expected.  Season 4 gets 4 out of 5 sCrypt ratings from me.

What did you think?  Comment below with your thoughts and speculation.


Think, Sip, Write: ep 32 – Doctor’s Orders

Roberta and I discuss some strange and arcane medical practices throughout history.  Be sure to check out the slideshow at the end of the episode too.  What other techniques have you heard of?  Feel free to comment below. #thinksipwrite