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Even with the outdated special effects of claymation, the original release of 1981 was, for me, ten-times better the special effects driven storyline of the 2010 remake.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: Armada #scifi #videogame

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, not only am I late this month but I’m coming up short. I’ve read several books in the month of October and liked most of them, but I haven’t sat down to review any of them. I’m currently reading Armada, the second book by Ernest Cline. So far the story is really good, but I’m still not sure how I feel about it overall. I’m definitely interested in where the story is going.

I’m 96% finished with my Goodreads Reading Challenge, but I still have about six books left to read on my personal ‘to read’ challenge. Guess I’ll have to hunker down over the next two months.

Even though I’m disappointed that I missed this post, properly, at least it’s not the only one. I missed my usual Reading Challenge and Wip Update,  my movie review, and more. Hopefully, I’ll be back on track next month with a proper book review and my regular blog schedule (though, I may have to change some things).

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: 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: Sell Your Soul #business #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.

from Bookfunnel via Facebook

Title: Sell Your Soul: How to Build Your Creative Career
Author: Russell Nohelty
Genre: Business, Nonfiction
Pages: NA
Reading Level: Adult
Content: Adult (business tactics, technical terms and practices)

I received a digital ARC of this book from the author because I’ve supported several of his Kickstarter campaigns and follow his creative business advice group and listen to his podcast from time to time. What can I say, I’m still having trouble getting into podcasts. In any case, I love this guy’s passion for his personal works and his indie press releases. I know I’ve learned so much from him already, so reading this book was a no brainer.

Initial thoughts- this book was great. It wasn’t too long, but it was a hefty length because it covers a lot of information. I like that, before the book dives deep into the how-tos of the creative business, the author explains the necessity of passion. Passion is the one thing I think, anyone who encounters Russell Nohelty, notices about him. He loves what he does and frequently reiterates that that has to be the number one reason a person decides to create something, whatever it is.

Then the book starts to dive into the how-to of business, but not just general stuff. Everything Nohelty discusses is directed specifically to creative people who want to make money with their creativity and break the stigma that all artists have to be starving. He speaks to the readers as if there’s a conversation happening. He’s quite frank and down to earth, but still concise and purposeful with his words. There are times when you can almost hear Russell yelling into the pages that yes, this is going to be hard, but it’s not impossible.

Nohelty is also upfront and honest about what has and hasn’t worked for him while leaving it to the reader to decide what they want to try because he or she might have a completely different experience. There are certain aspects of the book that feel like life hacks. They are literal step-by-steps of what he did, so why not try it yourself.

I feel like a large part of the book, when reading in between the lines, is about gearing the reader up to break out of their comfort zone. There are things he mentions in this book that I’ve thought about doing but just didn’t think that was the way things were done. Now I know that they can be the way, there are just so many people who are too afraid to try them. He also mentions a few things I never would have thought of, which I now realize is a reflection of the lack of confidence I sometimes have in my own work.

I don’t know that this is the greatest book ever written about the business of creativity, but it’s pretty darn good. I’d totally recommend it. Heck, that’s what I’m doing right now.

I give this book a 5.

Find this on Amazon.com and Goodreads.comUpdated 9/3/2017

If you have a moment, I’d love for you to visit my CURIOUS QUESTIONS page and offer your two cents on the question being asked. Thanks bunches.

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: Faith & Fandom Volume 2 #geek #Christian

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: Faith & Fandom Volume 2: The Obligatory Sequel
Author: Hector Miray
Genre: Christian Nonfiction, Geek Culture
Pages: 95
Reading Level: Teen
Content: PG (reference to books, movies, and video games targeted to teen and adult audiences, religious principles)

I’ll admit that it took me some time to get into this book, but I’m glad I stuck with it. I enjoyed this book so much that I immediately shared it with a family member after finishing it. With that said, I did have a few issues concerning my reading experience and would like to explain what I liked and didn’t like, thus keeping this wonderful book from receiving a 5 star rating.

First, I loved the cover. It pulled me in from across the alley at the local Comic Con where I received it. The images and the title immediately had me curious about the content within, so imagine my disappointment with there were no images inside, at all. I’m no fool to the issue of copyright infringement, but for some reason, I at least expected to see some vague and rough sketches to accompany some of the featured stories, but there were none.

Second, I enjoyed the personal and carefree tone of the essays. Many of them include personal life experiences and moments of pure geekdom that I could totally relate to. Then when the author began to transition into making biblical connections, it didn’t feel forced or preachy. He was simply offering his opinions based on his personal faith-walk and experience as a geek and fanboy. However, there were times when comprehending the message was a little difficult. There was no stylized formatting to clearly separate what was personal opinion, media quotes, or scripture. Yes, Miray, used all correct punctuation, but since the essays are written in a conversational way, it was sometimes difficult to determine which part of the one-sided conversation you were reading. Plus, it bothered me that none of the paragraphs were indented, though, I got over it quickly by pretending I was reading blog posts, which are often times not indented.

Lastly, I liked that this was a short read that packed a lot of punch. Miray covers so many different fandoms in this volume, it makes me want to go back to see what he talked about in the first one. Since I acquired my copy at a live event, I got to speak with Miray who suggested that I start with whichever volume seemed to have more of the geek stuff I liked in it, thus I started with volume two.

Even though this was a short read, it did take me a while to get into it because of all the forwards. I’m used to reading one or two pages of forwards and I think this book had four pages of them. Also, I was a little annoyed that there were no page numbers to reference. Sometimes I like to gauge my progress as I’m reading to motivate myself to finish a book, but I couldn’t do that this time.

Overall, I really felt like this book was wonderful for those who love geek culture and who might be curious about Christian faith. Other books that claim to connect faith to pop culture in a fun and interesting way, to me, have fallen short, but this book does it right. Recommended to, as the description states “geek curious believer[s and] a faith curious fanboy[s and girls]” of all ages, though younger children may not get all the references.

I give this book a 4.

This review has been posted to GoodReads.

If you’d like to obtain a copy of this book or others in the series, try this link: Amazon

If you have a moment, I’d love for you to visit my CURIOUS QUESTIONS page and offer your two cents on the question being asked. Thanks bunches.

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