Remakes Blogfest! The best & worst of #books, #film, #music & more


Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh and Heather M. Gardner.

Remakes – most of them suck. Now and then, one comes along that is as good as, if not better, than the original. And after all of the bad ones we’ve endured, we want to know about some good ones.

On November 13, 2017 (hey, that’s today :D), blog about your favorite remake: movie (or television show into movie and vice versa), song, or book – or all three! Post a YouTube video and links where we can find these treasures. Tell us why THIS remake doesn’t suck!

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This post is basically an excuse for me not to do some other posts I’ve been meaning to do, so I plan to make it count. Here it goes; some of my best and worst remakes I know. *DISCLAIMER: Most of the titles listed here are the result of me putting multiple options into a random number generator and posting about the one that came up on the list. There are just too many remakes to consider. There are remakes out there that people don’t even realize are remakes, especially if you go as far back as the silent film era and the golden age of Jazz.

Movies—->Movies

BEST- King Kong

I’ve always loved King Kong, starting with the 1933 film. I’ve watched most of the movies under that title including some of the really bad Japanese movies completely unassociated with Godzilla. When the 2005 film came out, it brought back my childhood and the feeling I had that first made me a fan. This movie pays homage to the original on so many levels and then expands to make it into something new. It introduces a whole new generation to an amazing character and story and does it justice with really cool special effects.

WORST- Clash of Titans

Even with the outdated special effects of claymation, the original release of 1981 was, for me, ten-times better the special effects driven storyline of the 2010 remake. Plus, they got rid of Bobo. :p Not much else to say here.

TV—–>Movies

BEST- Mission Impossible

I only ever watched the original Mission Impossible TV show when it came on classic TV, late at night. By that time, my parents had given up on trying to get me to sleep at night, especially since I seemed to be a well-functioning night owl and only stayed up to watch old TV shows and movies. When the first, Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible movie came out, I was excited. The movie was pretty good and got people talking about the original show, a little. That’s what I think a good remake should do.

WORST- Starsky and Hutch (Never saw the Baywatch remake)

Not sure why they took a decent (well, not terrible) 70’s cop show and turned it into a ridiculous farce/comedy, but it didn’t go over well. Not the first or last mistake like this.

Book/Comic Strip—->Stage Play/Movie

BEST (gender swapper?) Annie

So the original stage-play musical is said to have been based on the comic strip “Little Orphan Annie”, but isn’t that comic strip just a gender-bender for the Oliver Twist story? Well, that’s what I’ve always thought. In any case, this still qualifies as a remake and I’ve so enjoyed the many small stage versions of the play I’ve seen as well as both theatrical film releases.

WORST- IDK, need to think on this more.

Books—->Movie

BEST- Cloud Atlas

This is a fairly recent book and movie remake in the scheme of things. There are many people who didn’t get the book by David Mitchell, so I’m sure the movie wasn’t high on their list either. Me on the other hand, I loved the book and the movie. Of course, I could tell you a list of issues I had with the film adaptation of this book, but overall, the film’s ability to grasp the multiple themes, story plots, and depict reincarnation is such a clear and vivid way, deserves recognition. I enjoy watching this film just for the visual representation of complicated storytelling techniques you only expect to experience when reading. The effects are good for sure, but it goes beyond that.

WORST- Cat in the Hat

I think this movie was supposed to be cute and funny, maybe a bit mischievous, like the beloved children’s book, but it wasn’t. It was weird. It failed and was totally unnecessary since there have been really good cartoon versions of this and other Dr. Seuss stories around for quite a while.

Songs—–>Songs

BEST- With A Little Help From My Friends by Joe Coker

I have always considered Joe Coker’s version of With A Little Help From My Friends to be one of the greatest popular-music song remakes of all time for 4 main reasons.

1) the original song is phenomenal but difficult to pull off without sounding cheesy unless you are The Beatles.

2) Coker not only performs the song well, he makes it into something almost unrecognizable from the original, making it a classic in its own right.

3) Childhood nostalgia will always remind me that I’m amongst friends as I reminisce about “The Wonder Years” to which this song was the intro.

4) I have this song on its original vinyl and the sound is amazing. I can listen to this once a week for the rest of my life and not get bored with it.

WORST- Blue Monday by Orgy

Blue Monday by New Order is not one of my favorite songs in the world, but it’s a decent song; definitely a product of the 80’s. The remake by Orgy didn’t do much to make it stand out other than to make it really really heavy. I just think this is a remake that could have been passed on.

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Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Cress #scifi #fairytale

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Cress
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Author: Marissa Meyer
Genre: Science Fiction, Fairytale Retelling
Pages: 560
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG-13 (violence, brutality, doom, war, mature and dark themes, adult situations, oppression)

I honestly didn’t see the girl trapped on a satellite turning into a Rapunzel retelling, but it totally works. I love how the author embeds plot points from the original fairytale into this futuristic saga in ways that actually make perfect sense. I won’t geek out about it too much because I don’t want to give away spoilers, but if you like the Rapunzel story, you’ll appreciate this installment of the Lunar Chronicles where Thorne kind of plays the role of the prince.

Before I say more about what I liked in this book, I’ll mention that there wasn’t enough Wolf and Scarlet interaction for me. I understand why they aren’t focused on too much and appreciate where the story is going. I will also admit that I’ve been on the fence a bit about whether or not I really ‘get’ Cinder as the great hero and this story really helped me to appreciate her more. I already liked her, but I just had trouble seeing her as a hero, knowing that the character struggles with that notion herself, makes her feel more real.

I also found that this installment made me appreciate Emperor Kai more. As I read the story, I was pleasantly tasked with reminding myself that these are young, teenage, characters trying to save the world. Too often, for my taste, YA stories make me wish the characters were older. I felt it was a mark of superb storytelling and character development that allowed me to accept the, few and far between, teenage angst because I realized that the story needed light tones from time to time.

Being a sucker for “the one” tales, I really enjoyed how Cinder began to hone her Lunar gifts and complement them with her cyborg advancements. I appreciated the uniqueness of her character and role she plays in bringing light to issues of stereotyping, superstition, and discrimination. I also love that Iko got more involved (can’t wait to read her graphic novel).

Recommended to teen and adult fans of fairytale retellings, cyborg or machine tales, and a good fantasy and sci-fi mash-up.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like a Kindle copy of this book, try this link: Amazon.

Get a print copy with free international shipping at this link: Book Depository.

If you’re up for it, I could really use some support for my Thunderclap campaign, which promotes my 10 Kindle book sale and 5 paperback giveaway.

Please stop by and see what others have read. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: Outliers of Speculative Fiction 2016 #specfic #book

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

Title: Outliers of Speculative Fiction 2016
Editor: L.A. Little
Author: Tim Jefferys, Various
Genre: Science Fiction, Anthology
Pages: 150
Reading Level: Adult
Content: R (adult situations and content, mature and dark themes, doom, and violence)

I was happy to see that another volume of this series was published. While it’s not as long as the first, it’s still top quality speculative fiction with lots of diversity.

Hell Is Other People: A.I. based on mood. Good.
The Death of Mohenjo Daro: cultural- epic battle of men, greed, and faith. Good
Myra’s Last Tango: end of the world and aliens with humor. Not bad.
Downriver at the End of the World: a sad, post-apocalyptic coming-of-age tale. Excellent.
A Speck in the Sky: dangerous power, sacrifice. Excellent.
The House on No Man’s Land: ghost story with a twist. Good.
Souls in Other Space: humorous, yet scary, space opera. Excellent.
Terrible Weight: sad and scary post-apocalyptic zombie-ish story. Excellent.
Existential Crisis: weird afterlife mingled with the living. Good.
A Packhorse for Your Silly Meme: A.I., evolution, an “infant savior”. Excellent.
Grand Ideas: not sure how to describe this one. Good.

Overall, I enjoyed this anthology and only wish there had been more of it. Recommended to adult (teens with parental approval) fans of science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and horror.

I give this book a 5.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Please stop by and see what others have read 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Bridges #WEPFF Challenge No. 5 featuring unknown title #amwriting #flashfiction

So, I’m on vacation and totally forgot to schedule this post. Also, I started working on it a few days ago and then forgot about it being too busy celebrating birthday month and working on a new blog project. This piece is unfinished and unpolished. My plan is to turn the segments into journal entries, but as you can see, I have a long way to go.

Well, all in all, I don’t think this is my worst work, but it shouldn’t be too bad. I look forward to seeing the other entries and thank Denise Covey and Yolanda Renée for yet, another, great challenge.

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Unknown Title

Figie’s all the time going on about things as if he knows what he’s saying, but everyone knows he just hears things and repeats’em. I guess this time around, Figie heard something that no one wanted him to go around repeat’n.

So, here we are, running for our lives. Well, he’s running for his life and I’m trying to help’em, but as soon as others realize I’m help’n em, I’ll too be on the run. Been traveling by night and hold’n up during the day. Too many folks round here so dependent on solar power that life pretty much comes to a standstill come night fall. Sure folks use lunar power a bit, but none bother much to go out when everything inside is all lit up like it’s still daytime.

I hoarded a bunch of portable recharging batteries a few years back in case I ever decided to leave town and do some adventure walk’n. Folks just don’t adventure walk like they used to. I member people laughing at me for wasting space on old tech that probably wouldn’t work, but who’s laugh’n now?

I’m pretty much doing everything on my own to keep me and Figie alive. He’s a complete wreck; shake’n and twitch’n all the time. Spect’n someone to come punch’n out of the dark and kill’em in his tracks. Crazy thing is, after explain’n the situation, Figie hasn’t said another word. I have no idea what he heard that’s got folks com’n after’em.

Soon well be reach’n Pillar Peak. I figure, we could hold up there for a good while. One way up, no way down, and too cold for most to live. With us charging our batteries during the day and keeping a fire going all the time, we should be able to get by.

Food shouldn’t be a problem wit the way the fowls dip and dive all around. Most times you can’t even see the exact point of Pillar Peak ‘cause of all the swarm’n fowl. Wit the collapsible dome we been using for shelter and my skills with a sling, we’ll be just fine for a while.

Well, it’s been a full Lunar since we bunkered at Pillar Peak and not a soul’s come look’n for us. I’m thinking maybe Figie’s done lost it. It was fun for a while. Got to go on that adventure walk I always been talk’n bout, but now what. Just catch’n fowl, keep’n the fire, and sleep’n. Tonight Figie’s gonna tell me what this is all about or I’m break’n camp and head’n back wit or wit out’em.

Holy walk’n spirits are we in a terrible mash. No one’s come look’n yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Stupid Figie, hang’n around gathering other folks knowledge instead of learn’n his own. What a fool. To think he once had me believe’n you didn’t need to bother wit read’n and learn’n if you just pay attention to other folk. “Other folk,” he’d say, “they’ll teach ya e’er thing ya need to know, if ya just listen and be patient.” So, what happens when you learn something you don’t want to know… I’ll tell ya. You run for your life.

Stupid Figie. Hanging around the High Lord Scholars, all the time trying to sound smarter than anybody would believe him to be, found out where the Bridge is. Heck, he found out that it’s actually real. I mean, no one goes looking for the Bridge no matter how much wonder and power might be instore, ‘cause no one actually thinks it’s real. But foo on me, it’s real and Figie knows where it is. And they know he knows.

Now I’m twitch’n day and night just like Figie. He’s at least come back to his senses a bit and his help’n out. We’re alternating sentry duties. I’m still hunting all the grub, but he’s cook’n it and clean’n up after. Don’t really matter. Our nerves are so on edge, every pound we put on, we shake off in nerves. We won’t make it to the frost season; not up here. We gonna have to leave, but that’ll probably get us caught and killed. Seems no matter what we do or don’t do, we’re head’n to the Endless Ferry.

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714 WIP- unkown title 2017 Copyright © Toinette J. Thomas
Seeking full critique.



Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse #Review: My Father Didn’t Kill Himself #YA #book

The idea is simple: on the last Friday of each month, post about the best book you’ve finished over the past month while visiting other bloggers doing the same. In this way, we’ll all have the opportunity to share our thoughts with other enthusiastic readers. Please join us below.

So, the end of April came way faster than I was prepared for. Today, I’m prepping for the RavenCon and am feeling a bit jittery. I feel bad about not putting forth my best effort with this review so let me be clear now, this is not the full and complete review. I will be more thorough at a later time and post my complete review on Goodreads and Amazon (if they let me). Since I’m pretty much a member of the author’s, Russell Nohelty, unofficial fan club, I get a lot of his content in bulk and at discounted prices. I support almost all his Kickstarters and thus, that’s how I acquire his content whether digital or print. In any case, I’ll provide a brief review of this ebook below.

Title: My Father Didn’t Kill Himself
Author: Russell Nohelty
Genre: YA, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 305
Reading Level: Adult
Content: R (adult content and situations, mature themes, drug and alcohol use, language, sexuality)

So first, I have issues reading YA in general so that’s not a reflection of the author’s ability to tell a story. I had trouble relating to teens with I was one, so reading about them is always a little difficult for me. With that said, this is a very hard book to read. Some of the subject matter is just painful, in an emotional way, but it’s good. Sometimes you have to be uncomfortable to really experience something that sticks with you. Overall, this is a good book I’d recommend to a select few I feel would really connect with it and benefit from it.

I give this book a 4.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book, try this link: Amazon

Please stop by and see what others have read 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords