Mr. T’s Movie Club
 

WHAT’S NEW!


WINDFORK SECRETS HITS #1!!  THAT’S RIGHT, A BIG NUMBER ONE FOR FIVE DAYS RUNNING IN AMAZON’S FREE KINDLE STORE IN TWO CATEGORIES, DOWNLOADS OF “WINDFORK” SKYROCKETED WHEN PUBLISHER ZETABELLA PUBLISHING DECIDED TO JUICE THINGS WITH A FIVE-DAY FREE SALE FOR THE NORMALLY $3.99 EBOOK VERSION.  DOWNLOADS WERE IN THE HUNDREDS (OR EVEN THOUSANDS--NO FINAL FIGURES YET), AND LET’S HOPE AT LEAST SOME OF THOSE FOLKS ENJOY THEIR READ ENOUGH TO REVIEW IT AND RECOMMEND IT TO THEIR FRIENDS.  MY THANKS TO ANY AND ALL OF YOU THAT GOT YOURSELF “WINDFORK” FOR FREE DURING THIS REMARKABLE SALE.  NICE TO BE AN AMAZON BEST-SELLING AUTHOR TWICE NOW (“MALLED” HIT SIMILAR LOFTY  HEIGHTS WHEN PUBLISHER KAREN BRYSON AND SHORT ON TIME BOOKS PUT IT ON A FREE SALE BACK IN 2013), BUT IT NEVER WOULD HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT YOU GUYS, MY FANS!  THANKS AGAIN, AND ENJOY TOTALLY!!


MR. T OPTIONS UNIQUE YA VAMPIRE ACTION DRAMEDY SERIES!  I’M TOTALLY THRILLED TO ANNOUNCE THAT I’VE RECENTLY COME TO AN OPTION AGREEMENT WITH AUTHOR BARBARA ELLEN BRINK OF THE TWIN CITIES AREA IN MINNESOTA (ROSEMOUNT, FOR THOSE OF YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE AREA) TO ADAPT HER BOOK SERIES “THE AMISH BLOODSUCKERS TRILOGY” FOR THE BIG SCREEN!  I’M ALREADY WELL INTO PREPARATORY WORK FOR THE FIRST SCRIPT, WHICH WILL BE BASED ON THE TRILOGY’S FIRST BOOK, “CHOSEN.”  IN LOOKING FOR A BOOK SERIES TO ADAPT (IT’S ALMOST THE ONLY WAY TO GET THE ATTENTION OF HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTION COMPANIES ANYMORE THESE DAYS...), THE FIRST THING THAT GRABBED ME ABOUT BARBARA’S BOOKS WAS THE SERIES’S UNIQUE, ALMOST OXYMORONIC TITLE.  WHO CAN NOT AT LEAST TAKE A PEAK AT A SERIES OF BOOKS THAT MIXES ONE OF THE MOST BACKWARD AND PACIFIST RELIGIOUS SECTS IN THE WORLD TODAY WITH VAMPIRES?  WELL, I DID, AND WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED TO FIND AN UTTERLY UNIQUE YA COMING-OF-AGE TALE WRAPPED UP IN THE FRESHEST, MOST ACTION-PACKED TAKE ON THE TEEN VAMPIRE TALE I’D SEEN SINCE THE OLD “BUFFY, THE VAMPIRE SLAYER” OF THE EARLY 90’S (TO WHICH THIS GIVES DELIGHTFULLY NOSTALGIC HOMAGE).  IT EVEN HAS SOME SERIOUSLY “FAITH-BASED” MOMENTS THROWN IN!  THE FACT THAT THE BOOKS ARE ALL SUPERBLY WRITTEN, WITH WONDERFULLY COMPLEX CHARACTERS AND A ROCK-SOLID STORY-TELLING STRUCTURE DIDN’T HURT EITHER.  THERE WILL BE VERY LITTLE TO “FIX” IN MY SCREENPLAY ADAPTATION, SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE’S NOTHING IN THIS STORY THAT’S REALLY BROKEN.  I’VE ALSO FOUND BARBARA TO BE A VERY PATIENT, HELPFUL, AND REALISTIC AUTHOR TO WORK WITH.  NEITHER OF US HAS STARS IN OUR EYES ABOUT WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN WITH THE SCREENPLAY THAT I’LL BE CREATING, BUT WE’RE BOTH HOPEFUL AND DOING ALL WE CAN TO GIVE IT THE BEST CHANCE IT CAN HAVE ONCE IT’S READY TO MARKET.


AND THAT’S WHERE YOU GUYS CAN BE A HUGE HELP!  WHILE HOLLYWOOD MIGHT CHANGE THE TYPE OF SCRIPT THAT IT’S LOOKING FOR AS OFTEN AS THE WEATHER IN ANY GIVEN PERIOD, ONE THING THAT PRODUCERS ALWAYS RESPECT IS PROFIT POTENTIAL, AND IN THE CASE OF A SCREENPLAY BASED ON A BOOK SERIES, THAT COMES FROM SALES AND DOWNLOAD NUMBERS.  THE BIGGER THOSE NUMBERS, THE MORE EVERYONE BECOMES INTERESTED.  AND THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT YOU GUYS CAN DOWNLOAD “CHOSEN” FOR FREE IN AMAZON’S KINDLE EBOOK STORE(IT’S SOLD WELL ENOUGH THAT IT’S EARNED PERMANENT FREE STATUS, SO THE DEAL ISN’T GOING TO RUN OUT ANY TIME SOON)!  SO YOU CAN GET A GREAT NEW YA THRILLER TO READ--FOR NO MONEY AT ALL--”CHOSEN’S” DOWNLOAD NUMBERS GROW, AND THAT MAKES PRODUCERS THAT MUCH MORE WILLING TO TAKE A SERIOUS LOOK AT THE SCRIPT ONCE IT’S FINISHED.  THAT’S A WIN-WIN-WIN SITUATION THAT’S HARD TO BEAT.  AND IF YOU GET HOOKED, YOU CAN DOWN LOAD “SHUNNED” AND “RECKONING” (BOOKS 2 AND 3 OF THE SERIES) FOR JUST $3.99.  AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO STILL LIKE YOUR PAPER COPIES, THOSE ARE AVAILABLE TOO. SO DON’T WAIT!  HIT THE LINK BELOW AND “BUY” CHOSEN TODAY, AND HELP US DRUM UP BUZZ FOR THE SCREENPLAY WHEN IT’S READY SOMETIME IN THE NEXT SIX MONTHS.  AND THANKS A TON FROM BOTH BARBARA AND I!


“BUY” CHOSEN TODAY!    


PAGE AWARDS UPDATE - THE TOP TEN FINALISTS IN ALL CATEGORIES WERE ANNOUNCED RECENTLY IN THE 2014 PAGE INTERNATIONAL SCREENWRITING AWARDS.  THIS NARROWS THE 250 SEMIFINALISTS DOWN TO THE TOP 100 SCRIPTS AND SADLY, PRINCESS REBORN IS NOT ONE OF THEM...  AH WELL, BEING AMONG THE TOP 25 OF A TOTAL OF 506 SUBMISSIONS IN THE “FAMILY FILM” CATEGORY, AND THE TOP 250 OF AN INITIAL TOTAL OF 6036 ENTRIES IS STILL A SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT, AND YES, I’M STILL VERY PROUD :)!  AND I’M BEGINNING WORK ON A COUPLE NEW PROJECTS WHICH SHOULD BE DONE IN TIME FOR NEXT YEAR’S PAGE AWARDS, SO WE’LL KEEP AT IT.  AND YES, YOU CAN STILL READ MUCH OF THE STORY OF PRINCESS REBORN BY PURCHASING THE GRAPHIC NOVEL VERSION OF CHAPTERS 1 AND 2 (CHAPTER 3, UNFORTUNATELY, IS STILL IN LIMBO WITH MY PUBLISHER FOR NOW...) IN EITHER PRINT OR EBOOK FORM ON EITHER AMAZON OR BN.COM.  CHECK OUT LINKS ON THE “BUY MR.T’S BOOKS” PAGE OF THIS WEBSITE!


MASTERS IN SCREENWRITING CLASS (MSC) SUCCESSES-  “PHASE 2,” THE FIRST MARKETING PHASE OF THIS MOST ADVANCED CLASS PRESENTED BY MY MENTOR HAL CROASMUN OF SCREENWRITING U, HAS BEEN A SUPER SUCCESS.  THROUGH A VARIED CAMPAIGN THAT FEATURED EVERYTHING FROM COLD E-QUERIES AND EMAIL “BLASTS” TO HIGHLY TARGETED E-QUERIES, SCREENWRITING CONTEST ENTRIES, AND A WHOPPING 24 ONE-ONE-ONE PITCH MEETINGS WITH PRODUCTION COMPANY EXECUTIVES AT THE GREAT AMERICAN PITCH FEST HELD IN LA IN LATE JUNE, MY FINAL TALLY OF SUCCESS IS I8 SCRIPT REQUESTS AND 2 TV CONCEPT MINI-BIBLES NOW BEING READ BY SOME PRODUCTION COMPANY IN HOLLYWOOD.  I ALSO GOT 8 SCRIPT READS IN THE ON-GOING PAGE INTERNATIONAL SCREENWRITING AWARDS WHICH HAS RESULTED IN TWO SCRIPTS ADVANCING TO THE QUARTERFINAL ROUND--MY FAIRY GODMOTHER; THE Q-BIT CONSPIRACY AND PRINCESS REBORN.  THEY ARE AMONG THE TOP 749 SCRIPTS OUT OF JUST OVER 6000 TOTAL SCRIPTS ENTERED.  AND OF COURSE, OUT OF THOSE 18 SCRIPT REQUESTS, ONE HAS RESULTED IN A SERIOUS OPTION DEAL WITH PRODUCTION COMPANY MAGIC ELEVATOR WHICH IS NOW WORKING HARD TO “PACKAGE” SANDI CLAUS FOR PRESENTATION TO THEIR PRIVATE EQUITY FINANCIERS AND THEIR DISTRIBUTOR.  THANKS TO HAL, MY MANAGER JO-ANN CAROL,PRODUCER BERENIKA BAILEY OF MAGIC ELEVATOR, MY PARTNER CYNDIE, MY FRIEND RON, SISTER CHRIS AND BRO-IN-LAW DAVE, AND ALL THE OTHERS IN THE MSC 2 CLASS FOR THEIR SUPPORT AND HELP THAT HAS LED TO THIS SUCCESS.  YOU CAN’T GROW CROPS IF YOU DON’T PLANT SEEDS, AND SCRIPT READS ARE THE SEEDS THAT FUTURE SUCCESS COMES FROM IN THE MOVIE INDUSTRY.  LET’S HOPE A FEW MORE OF THESE MIGHT SPROUT SOMETHING!


AUTHORS GALORE AT THE COMMON CORE - IT’S MARCH 12, AND I’M OFF TO SACRAMENTO FOR A SPECIAL PRESENTATION SPONSORED BY MY PROFESSIONAL WRITERS’ ORGANIZATION (SCBWI) AND THE SACRAMENTO AREA READING ASSOCIATION TO INTRODUCE TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS TO NEW BOOKS (LIKE MINE) AND AUTHORS (LIKE ME) WHO HAVE ALSO DESIGNED CURRICULUM ACTIVITIES BASED ON CALIFORNIA’S NEW COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS TO GO WITH THEIR BOOKS.  THESE WILL BE SOME OF THE FIRST BOOKS THAT TEACHERS WILL BE ABLE TO PERUSE THAT ACTUALLY HAVE ACADEMIC ACTIVITIES TO GO WITH THEM THAT ARE SPECIFICALLY ALIGNED WITH THE NEW STANDARDS.  I’VE SPENT A GOOD DEAL OF THE LAST SIX WEEKS WRITING AN ENTIRE LITERATURE UNIT TO GO ALONG WITH “WINDFORK SECRETS” AND ALSO A FASCINATING SET OF ACTIVITIES TO GO ALONG WITH MY GRAPHIC NOVELS “PRINCESS REBORN CHAPTERS 1 AND 2.” WE’RE JUST INTRODUCING MATERIALS AND GIVING AWAY FREE SAMPLES OF IT TODAY, BUT HOPEFULLY, TEACHERS AND LIBRARIANS WHO ATTEND WILL FIND VALUE IN THEM AND THEIR COMMON CORE EMPHASIS, AND WE MIGHT SEE THESE BOOKS ON SCHOOL LIBRARY SHELVES AND BEING STUDIED IN CLASSROOMS SOON.  WISH ME AND THE 11 OTHER NORCAL AUTHORS ATTENDING THIS EVENT A LOT OF LUCK AND SUCCESS!  WE’D ALL LOVE TO SHARE OUR STORIES AND MATERIALS--WHICH CAN VERY RARELY BE BOUGHT IN BOOKSTORES ANYMORE--WITH STUDENTS WHO WOULD LOVE AND BENEFIT FROM THEM.


GUEST BLOG POSTS!  CHECK OUT TWO NEW ARTICLES THAT I DID AT THE REQUEST OF THE GUYS THAT RUN SCREENCRAFT.ORG’S “FAMILY-FRIENDLY” FOUR-QUADRANT SCREENPLAY CONTEST IN ORDER TO HELP THEM DEFINE AND INSPIRE WRITERS IN THIS GENRE TO ENTER THE CONTEST AND GET SOME GREAT EXPOSURE FOR THEIR WORK WITH SEVERAL BIG-TIME STUDIO PEOPLE LOOKING FOR ORIGINAL NEW FOUR-QUADRANT, FAMILY FRIENDLY FILMS.  THE TWO ARTICLES, “TEN ESSENTIALS OF A FOUR-QUADRANT FILM” AND “TENTPOLE PROFITS FOR A PITTANCE OF THE PRICE” CAN BE FOUND ON THE BLOG POSTS SECTION OF WWW.SCREENCRAFT.ORG.  JUST HIT THE LINK AND ENJOY.


MALLED IS NOW AVAILABLE IN ALL EBOOK FORMATS (NOOK, IBOOK, KOBE, ETC.) AT SMASHWORDS!  JUST FOLLOW THIS LINK!  ENJOY!!


GIRLTOPIA LA 2013 WAS A GRAND SUCCESS AS MYSELF AND FELLOW AUTHORS ANN KIMBROUGH AND AUTHOR/PUBLISHER KAREN BRYSON HAD A GREAT TIME WITH THE GIRL SCOUTS AT THE LA CONVENTION CENTER ON SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 SELLING A AND SIGNING BOOKS AND GETTING TO KNOW HUNDREDS OF NEW FRIENDS THERE.  I WAS PARTICULARLY PLEASED THAT MY STOCK OF MY LATEST BOOK WINDFORK SECRETS COMPLETELY SOLD, ALONG WITH HALF MY STOCK OF MALLED AND A GOOD NUMBER OF PRINCESS REBORN BOTH CHAPTERS ONE AND TWO.  THANKS TO ALL THE GIRLS AND THEIR PARENTS AND LEADERS WHO STOPPED BY OUR SHORT ON TIME BOOKS BOOTH, ENJOY YOUR NEW BOOKS, AND TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THEM AS WELL.  ALL THREE OF US CAN BE EASILY SEARCHED ON AMAZON, WHERE YOU CAN BUY BOTH PRINT AND DIGITAL COPIES OF OUR WORK.! AND OF COURSE, YOU CAN ALSO LOOK UP MY NEW MY NEW AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE AND FIND PURCHASE LINKS AS WELL.

ME AND FELLOW AUTHOR ANN KIMBROUGH MAN OUR BOOTH AT GIRLTOPIA 2013.  DID LOTS OF BIZ AND HAD A GREAT TIME MEETING GIRLSCOUTS ALL DAY!  MISSING IS AUTHOR/PUBLISHER KAREN BRYSON, WHO’S BEHIND THE CAMERA :).



- MALLED FINISHED THE ORANGEBERRY COVER WARS #2 IN 2ND PLACE.  A LAST MINUTE SURGE OF 130-SOME VOTES FOR MY COMPETITION BESTED THE 74-22% ADVANTAGE THAT WE HELD FOR MOST OF THE CONTEST.  THANKS TO ALL WHO VOTED!  FOR AS LITTLE “GET OUT THE VOTE” EFFORT I PUT INTO THIS, I WAS ACTUALLY PLEASANTLY SURPRISED AND PLEASED WITH THIS RESULT.


  1. -MALLED IS A HALL OF FAME WINNER!!!  THANKS TO SO MANY FANS VOTING TIRELESSLY OVER THE PAST SIX WEEKS, MALLED; A TALE OF REVENGE HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN SELECTED TO THE ORANGEBERRY BOOK EXPO HALL OF FAME AS “BEST HORROR” NOVEL OF 2013.  MY DEEPEST THANKS TO ALL OF YOU THAT VOTED, AND BE ASSURED THAT YOU’VE SELECTED A WORTHY BOOK INDEED.  POSTED REVIEWS OF “MALLED” VIRTUALLY ALL RAVE ABOUT THE STORY, EVEN BY THOSE CAUGHT BY SURPRISE BY ITS UNIQUE “NEO-GOTHIC” STYLE AND VOICE. YOUR EFFORTS HAVE ALREADY HELPED IMMENSELY IN OUR MARKETING EFFORTS, BOTH FOR THE BOOK AND THE SCREENPLAY IT IS BASED ON.  GRAB YOUR DIGITAL COPY TODAY AT THE LINK BELOW (JUST $3.99) OR USE IT TO LINK UP WITH THE WONDERFULLY DESIGNED PAPERBACK VERSION IF YOU PREFER ($8.99).


  1. -MALLED IS HERE!!!  HIT THE LINK BELOW AND BE ONE OF THE FIRST TO GET YOUR HANDS ON NON-STOP YA CHILLS, THRILLS, AND EVEN SOME ROMANCE.  BASED ON MY SCREENPLAY, JUST $3.99 FOR THE EBOOK (IN NEARLY ALL FORMATS) OR $8.99 FOR THE PRINT VERSION.  AND REMEMBER, THIS BOOK CONTAINS MATURE CONTENT--NOT FOR THE LITTLE ONES!  HERE’S THE LINK!  HEAD THERE NOW... http://www.amazon.com/Malled-A-Tale-Revenge-ebook/dp/B00CVVHPIG/


- THE NEW “WINDFORK SECRETS” IS NOW FOR SALE IN BOTH PRINT AND EBOOK FORMATS!  THIS IS WITH ZETABELLA PUBLISHING (THE NEW SISTER COMPANY OF ZETA COMICS, THE PUBLISHERS OF MY PRINCESS REBORN BOOKS) AND IS A NEW, ENTIRELY RE-EDITED VERSION OF MY VERY FIRST, AND FOR MANY THEIR FAVORITE, OF MY NOVELS.  THE HISTORICAL FANTASY THAT I FIRST BEGAN SHARING WITH STUDENTS BACK IN 1997 AND EVENTUALLY BECAME ONE OF THE MOST IN-DEMAND BOOKS IN MY SCHOOL LIBRARY IN ITS SELF-PUBLISHED FORM, IS NOW AVAILABLE WITH AN AMAZING  BRAND NEW BLUE COVER, COMPLETELY RE-EDITED TEXT, AND IN BOTH EBOOK AND PRINTED FORMS, WITH THE PRINT VERSION SELLING FOR JUST $9.99!  THAT’S JUST A TAD OVER HALF THE PRICE OF THE ORIGINAL PRINT VERSION.  BUT NEVER FEAR, THE STORY IS STILL THE SAME ONE THAT THOSE OF YOU THAT HAVE HEARD IT AND READ IT HAVE LOVED OVER THE YEARS. YOU CAN USE THE FOLLOWING LINKS TO PURCHASE IT...

  1. -BARNES AND NOBLE PAPERBACK - $9.99

  2. -AMAZON PAPERBACK - $9.99

  3. -AMAZON KINDLE EBOOK - $3.99


  1. -MY TUMBLR BLOG WILL NOW BE MY OFFICIAL BLOG.  HEAD TO IT NOW FOR NEWS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT MY LATEST WRITING ADVENTURES.  I’M SHOOTING FOR ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH POSTINGS, SO YOU WON’T GET BORED!  HERE’S THE LINK.. http://leetidball.tumblr.com


  1. -TIDBITS! AND PICTURES TOO! YES, THE TAMEST OF A HALF DOZEN OR MORE  NAMES OF DERISION USED ON ME IN GOOD OLE JUNIOR HIGH HAS NOW BECOME A FOR-REAL ANIMATED HALF-HOUR TV CONCEPT ABOUT TINY LITTLE MAGICAL ALIENS WHO LIVE UNDERNEATH A SECOND GRADE CLASSROOM.  CONCEIVED BY CYNDIE AND FLESHED OUT BY ME, OUR FIRST JOINT WRITING EFFORT HAS INTRIGUED MY MANAGER AND WILL SOON BE GOING OVER TO HER CONTACT AT A MAJOR KIDS’ TV NETWORK FOR CONSIDERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT WITH THEM!  LIKE ANYTHING IN HOLLYWOOD, IT’’S NOT MUCH MORE THAN A SHOT IN THE DARK, BUT STRANGER THINGS HAVE HAPPENED.  WE’LL KEEP YOU POSTED, AND HERE’S THE LINK SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE SOME OF THE CHARACTERS OF THE TIDBIT WORLD.  ENJOY!


                                                      

  1. - PRINCESS REBORN UPDATE!  YES, WORK ON CHAPTER 3 MOVES SLOWLY BUT INEXORABLY ON!  PAGES 1-37 ARE NOW COMPLETE (INCLUDING LETTERING).  THINGS LOOK GREAT, AND I THINK YOU’LL ALL LOVE THE NEW STYLE OF THE ARTWORK (AS YOU KNOW, WE HAD TO FIND A NEW ARTIST TO FINISH OUT THIS FINAL BOOK OF THE SERIES).  MY PUBLISHER IS PUSHING FOR A RELEASE DATE SOMETIME IN LATE FALL  OF PARTICULAR EXCITEMENT IS THE FACT THAT THE ENTIRE STORY, CHAPTERS 1 AND 2 AND THE NEW 80-PAGE CHAPTER 3, WILL ALL BE PUBLISHED TOGETHER IN ONE TRADE PAPERBACK GRAPHIC NOVEL THAT WILL SELL IN PRINT FOR SOMEWHERE AROUND $12.95 (LESS IN EBOOK FORM).  I CAN’T WAIT!!! AND WILL KEEP YOU POSTED.


  1. -MR.T’S ON THE RADIO!  INTERNET RADIO, THAT IS.  I WAS INTERVIEWED (ALONG WITH GOOD FRIEND AND FELLOW TEACHER AND WRITER RON VINCENT) DURING AN HOUR-LONG FAITH-BASED PROGRAM CALLED “LIGHTHOUSE LIVE” WHICH ORIGINATES HERE IN MODESTO BUT IS SENT OUT LIVE OVER AN INTERNATIONAL PODCAST NETWORK ALL OVER THE WORLD.  IT’S ALSO ARCHIVED ON LIGHTHOUSE LIVE’S WEBPAGE SO YOU GUYS CAN CHECK IT OUT ANYTIME YOU WANT.  JUST HIT THE LINK BELOW!  ONCE AT THE SITE, SCROLL DOWN TO THE PROGRAM ENTITLED “OF STUDENTS EMPOWERED AND PRINCESSES REBORN.”  SINCE THE PROGRAM IS AN HOUR LONG, IF YOU WISH TO SKIP AHEAD TO THE INTERVIEW PORTIONS, SIMPLY USE YOUR MOUSE TO MOVE THE PODCAST SLIDER FORWARD TO ABOUT THE 11-MINUTE MARK FOR THE PORTION WHERE WE TALK ABOUT TEACHING AND JUST PAST THE HALF-WAY MARK (RIGHT AFTER THE SONG) TO WHERE WE TALK ABOUT PRINCESS REBORN AND WINDFORK SECRETS. HERE’S THE LINK, AND ENJOY!  MR.T ON LIGHTHOUSE LIVE


MR. T IN VEGAS!!



WITH STUDENTS IN THE LIBRARY AT MACMILLAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL!



RUNNING A WILD AND CRAZY ASSEMBLY AT TREEM ELEMENTARY SCHOOL     

    

CONGRATULATIONS TO TAMMY RICKER AND GIRL SCOUT HUNTER GALLEGOS OF TWENTYNINE PALMS, CA (BELOW); OUR ZETA COMICS KINDLE E-READER RAFFLE WINNERS AT THE B.I.G EXPO.  WHAT’S DOUBLY COOL ABOUT THIS IS THAT TAMMY’S OTHER KINDLE READER WAS STOLEN LAST SUMMER AND SHE HADN’T BEEN ABLE TO REPLACE IT.  SO GLAD WE WERE ABLE TO HELP!! 

-
















WHAT ARE WE?

A ONE-STOP SHOP FOR ALL THINGS RELATED TO ME, LEE TIDBALL; MY SCREENPLAYS, MY BOOKS (INCLUDING PURCHASE LINKS), AND ANYTHING ELSE IN MY WRITING-RELATED WORLD. 


AND EVEN BETTER, YOU CAN FIND OUT TONS OF STUFF HERE ON MOST ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH KID-RELATED OR FAMILY-ORIENTATED MOVIES AND ENTERTAINMENT.  ENJOY MOVIE REVIEWS, MOVIE NEWS AND INFORMATION ON THE WORLD OF MAKING MOVIES, WHAT’S COMING UP NEW IN THE MOVIES, ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES, AND MY UNIQUE PERSPECTIVES ON ON SUCH STUFF ON MY BLOG. 


THANKS FOR STOPPING BY, AND COME BACK OFTEN!


HERE NOW!!!!


CHECK OUT THE PRINCESS REBORN PAGE FOR ALL THE LATEST!


AND THERE’S MORE GOOD NEWS TOO!  WINDFORK SECRETS, ONE OF THE HANDS-DOWN FAVORITES EACH YEAR OF BOOKS I’VE READ TO MY STUDENTS AND ALWAYS ONE OF THE TOP TEN BOOKS CHECKED OUT FROM THE BEARD SCHOOL LIBRARY, HAS BEEN COMPLETELY RE-EDITED, AND IS NOW BEING REVIEWED BY EDITORS AT ZETA FOR CONSIDERATION TO  PUBLISH THROUGH THEY’RE YOUNG ADULT NOVEL DIVISION.  IF ACCEPTED, THIS NEW EDITION  WILL ALSO BE RELEASED IN A MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE PRINT EDITION AND IN DIGITAL FORM AND SOLD THROUGH AMAZON AND HOPEFULLY IN BOOKSTORES AS WELL. 


BE WATCHING FOR NEWS ON THESE EXCITING PROJECTS AS DEVELOPMENTS OCCUR THROUGHOUT THE NEW YEAR.



MR. T. RETIRES FROM TEACHING

UH, YEAH, THAT’S NOT A MISPRINT.  AFTER 27 YEARS OF FULL-TIME TEACHING AND AN ADDITIONAL 2 AND A HALF YEARS OF SUB WORK BEFORE THAT, IT’S COME TIME TO BRING IT TO AN END.  MULTIPLE, MULTIPLE REASONS FOR THIS, RANGING FROM PHYSICAL AND POLITICAL ISSUES TO JUST GETTING OLDER AND NOT BEING ABLE TO DO THE JOB AT THE LEVEL I’D ALWAYS DONE IT AT BEFORE (KIDS DESERVE THE BEST, AND I COULDN’T KEEP IT UP ANYMORE AT THAT LEVEL, AT LEAST NOT WITHOUT TEARING MYSELF UP).  BUT THE MAIN REASON IS A GOOD ONE--SO I CAN WRITE FULL-TIME AND TAKE FULL ADVANTAGE OF OPPORTUNITIES IN THAT WORLD THAT I’VE HAD TO CONTINUALLY SHELVE IN YEARS PAST FOR TEN MONTHS WHILE I DEDICATED THE VAST MAJORITY OF MY TIME AND ENERGY TO MY STUDENTS. 


AND IN THAT LIGHT, THERE’S ALREADY GOOD THINGS GOING ON.  PRINCESS REBORN, MY SCREENPLAY-TURNED-GRAPHIC NOVEL HAS NOW BEEN RELEASED AND IS FOR SALE EVERYWHERE ON AMAZON AND BARNES AND NOBLE’S WEBSITES, AND THE NEXT CHAPTER IS COMING OUT SOON.  HOPEFULLY, MY STRAIGHT NOVEL WINDFORK SECRETS WILL FOLLOW SUIT.  MY LATEST SCREENPLAY, FAIRY GODMOTHER - THE QUANTUM LEAP HAS ATTRACTED THE INTEREST OF A HOLLYWOOD PRODUCER WHO, WITH MY AGENT, WILL SOON BE “SHOPPING IT AROUND” FOR FINANCING AND ATTACHING ELEMENTS.  AND MY CHRISTMAS STORY, KRISTY’S SECRET, IS BEING CONSIDERED FOR PRODUCTION AS A TV CHRISTMAS MOVIE FOR NEXT YEAR. 


THOUGH I’LL MISS SCHOOL AND ESPECIALLY THE STUDENTS AND FAMILIES A TON (SO THANKFUL THAT I’VE BEEN ABLE TO STICK AROUND AS A VOLUNTEER THESE PAST FEW MONTHS), THIS NEW LIFE HAS BEEN A DREAM OF MINE SINCE I WAS A KID, AND IT’S GREAT TO FINALLY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO PURSUE IT. 



 

CINDERELLA ****+

DISNEY PRESENTS ITS THIRD LIVE-ACTION RE-IMAGINING OF ITS ANIMATED CLASSIC FAIRY TALES.  TIM BURTON’S WILDLY IMAGINATIVE GIRL-POWER VERSION OF “ALICE IN WONDERLAND” CAME FIRST SEVERAL YEARS AGO AND DID WELL OVER A BILLION DOLLARS OF BOX OFFICE BUSINESS.  THEN CAME LAST YEAR’S “MALEFICENT,” AND WHILE THIS RETELLING OF THE SLEEPING BEAUTY STORY MIGHT HAVE BEEN A BIT OFF, ANGELINA JOLIE WAS SO OVERPOWERING IN THE TITLE ROLE THAT NOBODY CARED.  CHALK UP ANOTHER $700 MILLION FOR THE MOUSE HOUSE. 


NOW COMES THIS EFFORT, AND, REGARDLESS OF HOW MANY MILLIONS IT BRINGS TO ITS LEGENDARY PRODUCERS, IT’S PROBABLY BETTER THAN BOTH THE OTHER TWO. 


EVERYONE KNOWS THE CINDERELLA STORY--THE LONG-SUFFERING GIRL WHO DOGGEDLY MAINTAINS HER GOODNESS THROUGH A HORRENDOUSLY UNFORTUNATE LIFE TO FINALLY FIND HER HAPPY ENDING--BUT SCREENWRITER CHRIS WEITZ EMBELLISHES THE SIMPLE TALE WITH DEPTH AND HEART THAT LITERALLY LEAPS INTO YOUR SOUL.  A POIGNANT PROLOGUE SHOWING “ELLA” AND HER FAMILY IN HAPPIER DAYS HAS YOU BOTH CRYING AND ROOTING FOR THIS GIRL BEFORE SHE’S EVEN GROWN.  AND ONCE OF AGE, LILY JAMES, AS RADIANT YET STALWART IN RAGS AS SHE IS IN THE IMPOSSIBLY OPULENT GOWN THAT HER FAIRY GODMOTHER (PLAYED HILARIOUSLY BY HELENA BONHAM CARTER) COOKS UP WHEN SHE SENDS HER TO PRINCE CHARMING’S BALL, TAKES OVER AND DELIVERS PERHAPS THE MOST PERFECT PERFORMANCE YET OF THIS OFT-PERFORMED CHARACTER.  IT’S A STUNNING EFFORT THAT WILL MOST CERTAINLY RAISE MS. JAMES OUT OF THE “DOWNTON ABBEY” ENSEMBLE WHERE SHE’S SPENT MOST OF HER ACTING CAREER TO DATE AND INTO THE MOVIE BIG-TIME SHOULD SHE DESIRE IT.  OTHER WINNING PERFORMANCES BY RICHARD MADDEN AS THE PRINCE, DEREK JACOBI AS HIS FATHER, CATE BLANCHETT AS THE STEPMOTHER, AND NONSO ANOZIE AS THE CAPTAIN OF THE KING’S GUARD ENSURE THAT JAMES’S LIGHT IS NOT DIMMED.  THE SETTINGS, BOTH REAL AND CGI, ARE BREATH-TAKING, AND THE CINEMATOGRAPHY SQUEEZES OUT ALL THE EMOTION, BOTH STARK AND BEAUTIFUL, INTO A GRAND SERIES OF UNFORGETTABLE IMAGES, MADE EVEN MORE IMPRESSIVE BY THE MUSIC, A DAZZLING BLEND OF BOTH NEW AND OLD.  DIRECTOR KENNETH BRANAGH IS CERTAINLY AT HIS VERY BEST FOR THIS.  “CINDERELLA” IS NOT FOR THE TINY TOTS (EVEN THOUGH THE CUTENESS FACTOR IS TURNED ON EARLY AND OFTEN WITH ELLA’S EVER-PRESENT MICE)--BUT GIRLS ESPECIALLY FROM TWEEN-AGE ON UP SHOULD NOT ONLY ENJOY, BUT SEE AN EXAMPLE OF QUIET COURAGE AND ELEGANCE THAT’S BOTH RARE AND MOVING.  AND GUYS, THIS IS A “DATE MOVIE” THAT’S PRETTY MUCH GUARANTEED TO MELT THE HEART OF ANY SWEETIE THAT HAS ONE.  SO GO SEE IT, AND SEE IT AGAIN IF YOU LIKE.  IT’S NOT VERY OFTEN THAT A PRACTICALLY PERFECT PIECE OF MOVIE ENTERTAINMENT COMES ALONG.


McFARLAND, USA ***1/2

KEVIN COSTNER HAS SPENT A LOT OF TIME DOING ALL SORTS OF FILMS, INCLUDING DRAMAS, THRILLERS, AND ROMANCES, BUT THE TWO GENRES WHERE HE’S ALWAYS STOOD A CUT ABOVE THE REST ARE WESTERNS AND THE SPORTS FILM, AND A PERFECT EXAMPLE IS THIS, THE STORY OF A WAYWARD COACH WHO DISCOVERS THE UNLIKELY SPORT OF CROSS-COUNTRY RUNNING, AND USES IT TO CHANGE THE LIVES OF BOTH HIMSELF, HIS ATHLETES AND AN ENTIRE TOWN.  FOLLOWING THE UNDERDOG SPORTS STORY BIBLE TO THE TEE, COSTNER AND A HANDFUL OF YOUNG HISPANIC NEWBIES GIVE UNUSUAL DEPTH OF HEART AND EMOTION TO SCREENWRITER GRANT THOMPSON’S SCRIPT, WHICH IS BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF THE UNLIKELY WINNERS OF CALIFORNIA’S FIRST EVER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP IN CROSS-COUNTRY.  AND OF COURSE, THAT STORY IS ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN JUST RUNNING LONG-DISTANCE RACES.  SPORTS COMPETITION AT ITS BEST IS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE, AND NOWHERE IS THAT BROUGHT OUT MORE VIVIDLY THAN IN THIS FILM.  WHILE I’D CALL THIS A “MUST-SEE” FOR ANYONE WHO COACHES YOUNG ATHLETES, OR IS ONE, OR LIVES WITH ONE, THE TRANSCENDENCE OF THE JOURNEY FOLLOWED BY ATHLETES INTO WHAT WE ALL FACE AS WE JOURNEY THROUGH WHATEVER “GAME” OR “RACE” WE WALK INTO EVERY DAY MAKES THIS UNIQUELY INSPIRATIONAL FOR JUST ABOUT ANYBODY.  SO COUCH POTATO OR NO, ENJOY “MCFARLAND, USA.”  AND DON’T BE SURPRISED IF YOU’RE CHEERING ALONG WITH THE FANS ON-SCREEN AT THE END AND HAVE A WEIRD HANKERING TO HEAD OUT ON A RUN ONCE YOU GET HOME.


THE DUFF **1/2

NEXT IN WHAT WILL SURELY BE A LONG TRAIN OF LOW-BUDGET TEEN ANGST-BASED FILMS HOPING TO STRIKE THE GOLD OF SHOWS LIKE “EASY A” AND “THE FAULT IN OUR STARS,” IS THIS LITTLE FILM ABOUT A HIGH SCHOOL “PLAIN JANE’S” STRUGGLE TO ACCEPT HERSELF WHEN SHE DISCOVERS THAT HER ROLE IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THE SCHOOL’S SOCIAL ORDER IS TO PLAY THE HARMLESS GO-BETWEEN FOR HER FAR MORE GLAMOROUS AND POPULAR FRIENDS (DUFF STANDS FOR DUMB, UGLY, FAT FRIEND).  THOUGH FUNNY, TOUCHING, SAD, AND SWEET AT VARIOUS TIMES AND FEATURING FINE PERFORMANCES BY “DUFF” MAE WHITMAN AND ROBBIE AMELL AS HER GUY-FRIEND NEXT DOOR WESLEY, THIS STORY NEVER GENERATES THE DEPTH OF EMOTION OF EITHER OF THE AFORE-MENTIONED FILMS, ONLY OCCASIONALLY GIVING US ANYTHING MORE THAN “YOUR AVERAGE TEEN ANGST” MOVIE.  FOR TEENS, A WORTHWHILE BIT OF FUN WITH SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE ACTORS, BUT FOR MUCH OF ANYBODY ELSE, KIND OF “MEH.”


PADDINGTON ***1/2

THIS FILM, BASED ON THE POPULAR PICTURE BOOKS ABOUT A WAYWARD BEAR FROM “DARKEST PERU” WHO FINDS HIS WAY TO ENGLAND AND IS ADOPTED BY AN ENGLISH FAMILY, GETS THE FAMILY FILM YEAR FOR 2015 OFF TO A PLEASANTLY AMAZING START.  ITS RELEASE PUT OFF FROM THE CRAZILY CROWDED CHRISTMAS DAY RELEASE THAT WAS ORIGINALLY PLANNED, NOT ONLY GIVES FAMILIES SOME ENTERTAINMENT DURING WHAT IS USUALLY AN INSUFFERABLY BORING PERIOD AT THE MOVIES (THEATERS BEING OVERWHELMED WITH CHRISTMAS SEASON HOLDOVERS AND ODD, ADULT-ORIENTATED “AWARDS” FILMS), BUT IT DOES SO WITH SURPRISING DEPTH, HEART, AND FUN.  FIRST OFF, THE LUDICROUS IDEA OF A BEAR HAVING HUMAN-LIKE QUALITIES AND INTERACTING WITH HUMANS IS IMMEDIATELY MADE PLAUSIBLE WHEN AN ENGLISH EXPLORER DISCOVERS PADDINGTON’S UNIQUE BEAR FAMILY AND TEACHES THEM ABOUT ENGLAND AND HOW TO SPEAK ENGLISH.  IN THE SAME WAY THAT WE ACCEPT ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS CHATTING IT UP WITH JASON LEE IN THEIR FIRST MOVIE, WE ACCEPT THESE BEARS AS THEY WAVE GOODBYE TO THEIR HUMAN FRIEND, THEN GO ABOUT THEIR NORMAL FAMILY BUSINESS WHILE THEY DREAM OF ONE DAY GOING TO LONDON AND MEETING HIM THERE.  AND LIKEWISE, WE FEEL HEARTBROKEN WHEN A NATURAL DISASTER STRIKES, AND PADDINGTON BECOMES ORPHANED, AND, HAVNG NO PLACE ELSE TO GO, HEADS DOWNRIVER, WEASELS HIS WAY ONTO A FREIGHTER, AND EVENTUALLY ARRIVES IN LONDON.  THERE, HE’S RELUCTANTLY TAKEN IN BY A TYPICAL ENGLISH FAMILY, WHICH SOON BECOMES UNTYPICAL AS PADDINGTON UNWITTINGLY SHAKES THINGS UP AT ALMOST EVERY TURN.  HOWEVER, BOTH BEAR AND FAMILY GROW ON ONE ANOTHER, AND WHEN PADDINGTON SUDDENLY FINDS HIMSELF IN DANGER OF BEING BAGGED AND STUFFED BY THE  DEMENTED DAUGHTER OF THE EXPLORER THAT FOUND HIS FAMILY (A DEVILISHLY DELICIOUS DIVERSION FOR NICOLE KIDMAN), EVERYONE PULLS TOGETHER TO THWART HER SINISTER EFFORTS, AND FIND THEMSELVES A FAMILY OF FIVE RATHER THAN FOUR IN THE END.  THOUGH PEPPERED WITH SOME HILARIOUS SLAP-STICKY ROUTINES THAT SHOULD HAVE YOUNGSTERS ROLLING, TO ME, THERE WAS SO MUCH HEART AND MORE GENTLE HUMOR AT THE FOUNDATION OF THIS STORY THAT THE CRAZY STUFF SEEMED (ODDLY) ALMOST OUT OF PLACE.  HERE IS A FLIM FOR THE FAMILY OF UNUSUAL GRACE AND DEEP-DOWN FUN AND FEELING, SO TAKE THE FAMILY AND ENJOY, OR FIND IT ON VOD OR PPV SOMEWHERE SOON.  YOU’LL ALL HAVE A “BEARY” GOOD TIME!  


       *********


(SEE MORE PAST REVIEWS ON THE MOVIE CLUB ARCHIVE PAGE ON THIS SITE)

the latest in theaters!


 

                Edgy, exciting, Family-friendly Entertainment

The website of writer and former teacher

Lee tidball

contact Lee at

leetidball@mac.com


Lee’s Links

my facebook page

my linkedin page


Really