I’m writing to you today through exhausted eyes as I was up stupid late last night working on Dance With the Devil. I don’t have the progress to report that I’d like to but that’s because I started off the evening by deleting a bunch of content and re-writing. I’m making forward progress in the book again but due to the machete mission last night, I only netted 478 words for the day. I have no clue how many words I actually wrote (I go by my total word count when I shut down for the night). Let’s just pretend it was 3,000 words. I don’t think it was but I’m not kicking myself for missing my goal, either. Unfortunately, I won’t be doing much writing over the next few days because I’m working on another project.
I don’t have a story in it but I’m acting as publisher for the SEDUCTIVE anthology and we’re in the home stretch to release day (February 12th, bitches!). I’m working on formatting the ebook this weekend so I likely won’t be getting a lot done in my own WIPs until I’m all finished with that. If you’re into steamy contemporary romance (from 11 awesome romance writers), you can check out the anthology website here.
Now that the writing and publishing updates are covered…
Elon Musk is a frikkin rockstar. You probably won’t meet much bigger of a fan girl than me. I think the government should just step out of his way and let him do what he wants, but that’s just my opinion. He’s demonstrated over and over that he’s willing to throw his own time and money at innovation and those are the type of super rich people we need in this country, not ones who are so out of touch that they think you need an ID to buy groceries…
I just saw yesterday that he tweeted back on January 26th about an over-the-air feature upgrade they would be sending out to everyone with a 2016-or-newer Tesla. As part of this upgrade, a security system will be enabled turning all of your driver assist cameras into security cameras, and should anyone come too close to your car when in Sentry Mode, the sound system will then crank Bach’s Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor. His tweet included a YouTube link to the piece performed by Hannes Kästner in its traditional manner. Then he added a tweet to the thread: “But, occasionally, the metal version.”
And I’m won over. He may have been joking (I’m honestly not sure) but I would totally rock that as my car alarm. In that video is musician Marcin Jakubek. He arranged, recorded, and mixed that entire performance.
And now I’m subscribed to his YouTube channel along with a ridiculous number of Elon fans who visited thanks to the tweet (seriously, go to YouTube and look at the comments on that video…Elon Nation, just sayin’).
While writing and working this week, I’ve rewatched a bunch of movies I’d already seen before (for the most part, I don’t get distracted if it’s something I’ve already watched) and among them this time around was Need For Speed, the 2014 effort at launching a franchise based on the EA video game.
I didn’t watch it for the first time until about a year after it came out because I assumed it was a Fast and the Furious rip off (even though the game existed long before the first FNF movie). I’ve always been a reluctant fan of the FNF franchise. They’re fun and the action is entertaining but let’s be honest: the acting in the FNF movies is horrendous and the stunts are borderline ludicrous. Paul Walker was a stellar human being and so painfully beautiful, one could be forgiven for mistaking him as the offspring of a Roman gladiator and a mermaid. But he was a shit actor. Vin Diesel is gorgeous and intimidating as hell on film but couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. The whole franchise heavily relies on pretty people who are not at all convincing in their roles. The FNF movies are little more than 2-hour adrenaline rushes with fast cars and a hot cast, which is fine if that’s your thing. Need For Speed is something else entirely.
If you ever played the EA game on your computer, the movie will look all kinds of familiar. Locations like Mt. Kisco. The driving scenes, of which there are MANY. Even the way the dash gauges project onto the inside of the windshield in the Mustang—it looks just like the way the gauges appeared on your computer screen back in the day. There are two over-the-top stunt driving stunts in this movie (one of them is shown below), but they’re nothing so unbelievable as jumping a car from one skyscraper to another to another all while driving through walls…. More importantly, the acting in Need For Speed is leaps and bounds better than the entire FNF franchise. There is a death scene that will absolutely crush your heart thanks to the crazy talents of Aaron Paul and his ability to convincingly cry like a lunatic on cue. Seriously, I would give anything to ask him how he does that…
The whole cast is funny, each in their own right, and they work well together. With the exception of Dakota Johnson’s luke warm performance (I’m convinced her acting is basically her pretending to be her mom circa the 1980s), I love everyone in this movie. Aaron Paul (the man with one of the hottest voices in Hollywood – I tell you all about it here) plays extremely badass driver Tobey Marshall. Imogen Poots plays a professional car buyer and Tobey’s impromptu right-seater Jules. Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 are among his credits) plays genius mechanic and all-around adorable sidekick Finn. Kid Cudi plays funny man and military pilot Benny/Maverick/Liar One. Michael Keaton plays Monarch, the host of an illegal supercar race called the De Leon. Dominic Cooper plays Dino Brewster, a professional racecar driver and überdouche. Harrison Gilbertson plays Pete, the sticky sweet little brother-like friend of Tobey’s (you may also recognize Pete as Cameron from the movie version of Lauren Kate’s Fallen). Ramón Rodriguez plays Joe Peck who is basically Tobey’s crew chief (you might also know him from Transformers Revenge of the Fallen, The Affair, The Wire, and Netflix/Marvel’s Iron Fist and The Defenders). All of them play off of one another beautifully. The chemistry, comedic timing, and emotion are all on point. The only one who doesn’t really play into that is Keaton as his character is never actually in the same room as any other character. But he’s fucking Michael Keaton so whatever. He could film himself talking about the mating habits of dung beetles and I’d probably watch it.
The plot is solid, too. Without blowing too much, there is a race, someone dies, someone gets mad about that death and the way it went down, and it triggers a revenge-fueled cross-country race to another race. That’s way oversimplifying matters but I don’t want to ruin anything if you haven’t seen the movie.
Ugh, and the driving scenes… I tried to find one on YouTube that doesn’t also blow a major plot point and quickly found that’s actually kind of hard to do. This one is from the middle of the movie and doesn’t give up a whole lot so it’s good. Plus, Imogen Poots is driving in this scene and I adore her. 🙂 If you haven’t seen the movie yet, you must watch it. It’s so much better than the FNF franchise, all the way around. Unfortunately, the worldwide box office was shit (it only grossed just barely north of $200 million, which is not great when your production budget is $66 million) and the plans for the franchise were cancelled. Should I ever become Elon Musk rich, I will gladly use some of that Scrooge McDuck money to see that this franchise becomes a thing but it has to have the same cast. That’s non-negotiable.
Okay, that’s it for today. I’m going to go format my brains out now. Hopefully, I will get it all done this afternoon and be able get some writing done tonight. I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow to let you know how that goes. Peace, love, and poptarts!
Word Count Goal: 3,000 words/day
Words Written Yesterday: 478 Net (Dance With the Devil)
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