‘Warcraft’ movie opinion

Warcraft Movie Poster


“They’re stronger, *BE* smarter” – Lothar


I’m still thinking about ‘Warcraft’ hours later.
Having been a huge fan of the World of Warcraft game for many years and anticipating the movie for years as well- I only allowed myself smallest of exposure to what the movie would be about. I didn’t want to go into it with preconceived notions or spoilers. I just wanted to enjoy what they were going to show me. All I knew was that it was going to take place in a time before the World of Warcraft game was going to have taken place.


This is a fantasy war movie focused on an invasion of the race of Orc folk into the world of Human, Dwarves, and the Elvish. Using dark magic an Orc wizard penetrates the world barriers to open a Dark Portal to invade, conquer, and “move in” to the world of Azeroth, a fantasy realm in itself. In defiance and resistance to this hostile take over situation the Humans, Dwarves, and Elvish-kind set out to find out more about the invaders and how to stop them.


Fans of the game will get to see familiar sights such as Stormwind, Elwynn Forest, Ironforge, Dalaran, Hellfire Peninsula, Blackrock Mountain, Westfall, Karazhan, and likely others that I didn’t catch in one viewing. The gryphons were majestic and wonderful to see – and if you look close you’ll catch a few murlocs crying out as a gryphon passes overhead in a river. The magic was amazing and the CGI is born of all the special effects movies that have all come before it- and you can tell homework has been done here. For instance- I love that Paula Patton who plays bi-racial Orc named ‘Garona’ – was just the right shade of green (they rotoscoped her body for this reason). Anyone remember how Zoe Saldana as Gamora looked in Guardians of the Galaxy? Her green skin looked painted and a bit weird. Garona in Warcraft is excellent with these perfect little tusk teeth. She looks real and as authentic for being half Orc as you can get.



In the same vein, I love that all of the Orcs look really fantastic. Draka is the wife of one of our focus characters, Durotan, and she’s just sublime.



And can I talk a little about Ben Foster? Yes- from the movie, “Pandorum”. He portrays magic and the scope of its use with a masterful grace. As if he’s actually conducting magic on screen and I thought he was great. His familiar face made a lot of the unfamiliar Orc faces that much more inviting to see, “oh, look- someone I can recognize with all that CGI and makeup effects going on everywhere else.”


It took me a few moments to place the face of the King since I haven’t seen ‘Preacher’ yet, but he plays ‘Howard Stark’ in the Marvel cinematic Universe. While he didn’t exactly stand out as a primary character, once again Dominic Cooper was a sight for sore eyes when trying to pick out familiar faces among many tusked ones.


Travis Fimmel plays ‘Lothar’ and you may recognize him as ‘Ragnar’ from the ‘Vikings’ tv show. I don’t care what anyone says- I thought he was excellent in this movie and I’m so glad he was cast in the role of a leader. He isn’t meant to be the “Chris Pratt of Warcraft”, chucking jokes all over the place. His humor is meant to be subtle and quiet. Wry, even. I felt it was just that. When he wins you can see it in his eyes, even if it’s a verbal victory. When he loses, it’s all in his glassy gaze.


The plot choices made in this movie make sense to me. The casting felt spot on to me. It plays out the way it should and I am thankful and grateful that I am here to see it as a realized and delivered film. Is it clunky in some places? I’d say, yes. I felt the first ten-ish minutes were a little bit of a way to give everyone the down and dirty quick scenic route to the world (and pay some service to loyal fans who know the areas we were being shown). I wish there’d been a little more dramatic flair (as with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) with the characters that I was supposed to have an emotional connection with since I feel as though I didn’t have time to build up those ties, but this is just the first movie of its kind. It also needs to get its feet under it as a massive video game turned movie concept.


I went into this movie not knowing what to expect. I’ve heard bad reviews- but I held out hope because…well, I’ve seen Blizzard’s cut scenes in the games. I’ve seen how they make so many game players invested in their next new expansion with blockbuster like trailers (“You are not prepared!”). I wanted to believe that even with live action characters- that they could pull off a great video game movie too. They know their writing, they know their expected audience. This movie is not going to be cut out for any viewer who doesn’t have an appreciation for a video game. Be realistic about the kind of movie this is and understand what you’re going to watch before you go in and decide that you hate it. This has all the grand special effects of Lord of the Rings without perhaps some of the emotional connections you made along the way. It does lack in a couple places and you shouldn’t go in comparing it to perhaps any other movie— and certainly, in case you were wondering– it’s leaps and bounds above what Uwe Boll produces (and he wanted to work on Warcraft too- but he was turned away. Thank God.)


2008 quote:
Proving itself even more worthy of adoration, developer Blizzard has rejected an offer that would have seen reviled director Uwe Boll working on a World of Warcraft film.
“I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard [about a World of Warcraft film] and he said, ‘We will not sell the movie rights, not to you…especially not to you,'” Boll informed MTV News.
“Because it’s such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income.”
The director of such game-to-film adaptations as Far Cry, BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark, Postal, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale and House of the Dead also spoke on the importance of ignoring a game’s core fanbase.
“To be honest, the real gamers are the typical download guys, right?” Boll reasoned. “They don’t pay anything for movies, because they illegally download the movies. So why [should I] please these guys? I need the normal audience.”


I cannot tell you if you will like it but I can tell you that I did. Very much. And that I want to see it again for everything I missed the first time and I have plans to buy it when it becomes available to own it because it hit the right chord with me. Will it with you? I don’t know. It depends how you decide to go into the movie but I enjoyed the hell out of it and I want to see where it might go next. It’s doing excellent in the box office in China but not as well domestically. I guess we’ll see if a sequel is in the cards or not.


Until then- I’m very glad I got a chance to go see it in theaters. It was a ton of fun and I intend to see it multiple times. It’s my type of spectacle blockbuster movie!


DA Chaney - Warcraft & Shaman buttons

DA Chaney – Warcraft & Shaman buttons


-DA Chaney

For more Warcraft movie articles, visit a favorite of mine, The Hollywood Outsider:

Why You Should Ignore Film Critics And See Warcraft For Yourself

Reference Links:

Uwe Boll article and quote:


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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Movie Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized


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Eight Deadly Kisses…for you

8 deadly k

Dark Chapter Press presents an anthology by the diabolical master minds of women with murderous intent. Eight stories to give you a little deadly taste of what women horror writers enjoy doing best. Making you uneasy and scaring the hell out of you. Pull up a seat and give in as the lovely ladies weave you stories by the firelight to fan the flames intended for your delight.


A perfect way to spend a Valentine’s Day night – after your date has been tucked in for bed and you’re all alone with nothing to do…

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Posted by on February 14, 2016 in News


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Sweet, sweet January…has come and gone #ICYMI @TheShelfLife










  ICYMI – Mike  and I had a  little bit of a long break around the holidays due to many different things happening but one thing that we don’t intend to do is lose the urge to want to sit down and talk about the books we’ve read. If you haven’t yet subscribed to our podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast catcher – and didn’t see our two new January episodes, here are links to stream them from our Shelf Life website. We are looking to do a classic novel for our next episode – something that harkens back to our old High School years and have more lined up in the following months. It’s our intention to get back to releasing a new one at least once per month going forward but if you subscribe to our podcast you’ll be sure not to miss it.

We are not experts — we just discuss books that we like, love, or didn’t. We hope that you’ll find value in that and hang out with us as we discuss them.



The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins:

Revival – Stephen King:








If you like movies, I was also a guest on SlasherCastSideEffect in January. Dave and I sat down and discussed The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies:


Enjoy! 🙂



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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in audio, Movie Reviews, News, podcast, Reviews


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With January came…the “diet” but the food is good! #diet #JarSalad

I’m sure we’re all guilty of the New Years Resolutions to eat better and try to lose weight by way of food consumption and physical exercise. I guess you could say that I’m no different in that aim and idea. This January for 4 weeks straight I made salad jars (thanks to my buddy Scott Clark for posting the idea on Facebook and giving me the idea) every Sunday to last me 5 working days. The greens NEVER became soggy as long as you keep the jars upright and not mixing with the rest of the ingredients and you keep the salad at the top of the jar away from any dressing you’re using.

The aim of the Sunday prep is 2 fold. 1) to have a pre-made meal ready to go into my lunch bag every work weekday and 2) to control what I was going to be eating each day at work. Along with the salad jars I brought various diet friendly snacks to get through the day. Fruit, smoothies, cucumber salad (see below), yogurt, homemade oatmeal (see below), etc.

I’ve posted pictures and info in each below in case you’re also interested or- failing any desire to eat healthy – just want to make pre-made lunches for your work week. You can also do a similar idea with baggies if you don’t have jars at hand – though you may wish to put the dressing in a completely separate container to keep the contents fresh.


Salads in Jars. Honey mustard, chicken, bacon, cucumbers, tomatoes, slivered almonds, and lettuce (some jars required a separate bag of lettuce not shown). With a homemage egg breakfast “muffin”. 5 bags pre-made to grab on the “go”.


Salad in Jars- honey mustard, ham cubes, tomatoes, egg, spinach. Fruit & Veggie smoothies- I always add extra spinach, carrots, flax seeds, chia, sliced almonds, and pineapple slices.



Make sure to leave the jar right side up so nothing mixes and gets soggy prematurely and you’ll have salads in a jar for 5+ days if you pre-make them. Easy Peasy. You shake the jar up when you’re ready to eat it, mixing everything up. Then dump it in a bowl and you’re good to go.


Taco Salad in a jar. Salsa, ground turkey, tomatoes, spinach/lettuce. Top jar is homemade oatmeal. See below for instructions how to make your own. It can be eaten cold or microwaved warm. Mine contained: raspberries, vanilla almond milk, vanilla Dannon yogurt, & chia seeds)


Basic picture instructions. You can google the homemade oatmeal and locate a recipe that you like.

Cucumber salad in a plastic baggie for a treat/side snack. I removed the green exterior of the cuc then sliced it. Added red onion, pepper, olive oil, and white distilled vinegar. Let it set for a few hours in the refrigerator so it was nice and cold. Just beware of leaking baggies or punctures and otherwise, it’s a good little salad to have on the “go”. Adjust flavor to your taste. I don’t consume the red onion – I just use it to flavor the mix, but I know some people actually DO like onions 😉



This is on my list to try next. I love the idea and have everything I need already to make it. Thought I’d share incase you’re interested in a dessert idea.







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Posted by on February 1, 2015 in Food, Fruit, Vegetables


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Seth MacFarlane has a Holiday album out? Wait, he does? YES! He does! Check it out #music

And it is absolutely BRILLIANT.


 I caught the tail end of Seth MacFarlane singing on the Kelly & Michael morning show this week and I was caught completely off guard. Seth MacFarlane…was singing, no. That’s not the ‘word’ for it. He was crooning into the microphone. Like in a -beautiful Dean Martin ‘singing holiday carols’ kind of way. And he was GOOD! Better than good. He was excellent!

And I get it – really. I don’t watch ‘The Family Guy’ but I know the man’s name and from what I understand, he’s done musical numbers on the show. I honestly had no idea. Not that anyone can’t have a handful of quality talents, I don’t mean that, I just didn’t EXPECT to be blown away by this man, in this way. But friends, let me tell you. I bought the album just based on the last maybe 30 seconds of the song he was singing. He’s SO good that I really wanted to go out and buy every person that I knew a copy of the cd and thrust it into their hands and say “HERE! Christmas has been revived for me again! Listen to this and FEEL it again”. A tall order, I understand. Not everyone even likes these older holiday classics, but I think there’s just a certain appreciation that must take place when hearing something so…uplifting. I can imagine myself watching the snow fall on Christmas (the holiday that I celebrate) and hearing this music in the background. A glass of wine in my hand. The music has reinvigorated me in a way I hadn’t expected and that’s why it was SO surprising to me.

I can’t say that I’ve lost the “spirit” it’s just that I don’t usually find my holiday happiness until the week of my Christmas holiday anymore. With stores pushing out decorations and Mall Santa’s and all of that even before Thanksgiving takes place (this year it felt like as soon as Halloween was over, Christmas decorations were already going up in the stores. Am I wrong?) it just doesn’t feel the same as it used to. I almost feel like by the time the 25th gets here, I’m already tired and worn out from everything that I love about the holiday.

But this week I got a little bit of that…magic back.

Now, I know – the “sound” might be a little too old school for you, but I ask that you just give it a try and see what you think. If you like what you hear, go support the guy and maybe he’ll make more of these! I heard songs I’ve never heard before (FINALLY. I hear the SAME holiday songs over and over again usually) and not only that. I felt like a good half of the songs were not just aimed at Christmas. They were Winter Seasonal holiday songs that anyone can enjoy and not just people who celebrate Christmas-y music. Check it out and let me know what you think. It’s called “Holiday for Swing!”



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Some other stuff that he’s recorded – covers for some older hits:


I am not one to completely wave a Classic’s flag. I don’t know all of the ‘Greats’ or all of the songs that they sing, but there’s a movie that I love and a cover song artist that I loved FROM the movie that I always think of when I start thinking of this style of music. It’s called “Return to Me” and it has David Duchovny and Minnie Driver in it. If you’re curious what I’m talking about, give it a listen below.

What if I Loved You” Joey Gian – from “Return to Me



Now…just picture that fireplace lighting, the wine, the mood, and the music playing softly in the background. Isn’t it a beautiful thing? I think so.




p.s. I realized too late that I misspelled the Seth MacFarlane’s last name, but I think I corrected them all. Whoopsie.

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Posted by on December 4, 2014 in Listening to Music, Uncategorized


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Project 731 A #Kaiju Thriller novel is OUT!


A Kaiju. Like ‘Godzilla’. Like the villains in Pacific Rim (which I LOVE).



So I wanted to post up and say that I’m totally banana-bonkers excited that Jeremy Robinson has published a new book in his “Project” series that blends his heroes from ‘Project Nemesis’, ‘Island 731’, and ‘Project Maigo’ (you need to read them in THAT order so that they all fall into place, if you’re new to the series and want to catch up on them). From Jeremy’s blog it looks like he has plans to do a major book cross-over in 2016 that will further this “Project” series, so it’s not over with this book either. Look at that amazing cover art! That’s not even the end of it. There are actual fan drawings INSIDE too!

I was never an original ‘Godzilla’ fan way back in the day. The Matthew Broderick one didn’t strike me as a great addition to the genre either, though I don’t rank on it as much as some others might. I don’t think it was trying to be serious. I loved ‘Jurassic Park‘ and Peter Jackson’s ‘King Kong‘- which may have sparked my love for giant monsters – but when ‘Pacific Rim‘ came out- I lost my mind with how much I loved it. It was just…so. Much. Fun. I saw it in theaters 3 times easily in the first 3 weeks.

We know that some of the sequels to these movies will be coming to theaters in the next year or two but until then, where can we get the fresh experience of those giant monsters again?

I think you know what I’ll say to that.

You need to check these books out. Give the first one a try and see if it grabs your attention. If it doesn’t, maybe film is your Huckleberry and not text versions. No worries in that case. But if you’re looking for that thrill of an action adventure story with 300ft Kaiju, you’ve gotta read the guy that has basically started his own sub-genre category title with this series. If you’re on the move and can’t read them – the audiobooks are awesome (if you’ve been listening to The Shelf Life, then you know I love audiobooks). I’ve been a fan of R.C Bray (who narrates ‘Island 731’) for many books (check him out!) and he’s an excellent ‘Hawkins’ and Jeffrey Kafer (narrates the ‘Project’ series) is an awesome voice for the hero, Hudson.

If you’re reading this and feel excited to try the book/s out – I recommend reading them in chronological/publication order starting with (there is a specific reason that I recommend them this way, but you can read them in almost any order you want to, as long as ‘Project Nemesis’ comes first and ‘Project 731‘ comes last):

Project Nemesis

Island 731

Project Maigo

Project 731

And I’d like to add a further recommendation. When you’re done with those ones – give Jeremy’s other series (under his other name) a try. Jane Harper is a first class horror heroine and I’m waiting for book 3. Maybe I’ll get lucky and some day there will be a huge cross over with Jane involved. Oh, I hope so! She may be tough, rough, and brash, but she has my attention and I want to see what she’ll do next. See what you think and pass it on if you like these books 🙂

The Sentinel


sentinel-big the_raven


Now, please excuse me while I go back and get some reading done. Come here, Project 731!

Enjoy your new books too!


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Posted by on December 2, 2014 in audio, News


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A reason to cheer. #NaNoCheer #NanoWriMo #NanoWrimo2014 #TGIO


I wrote 50k words in November!



I know there are some people who follow me who may not share in the same delights that I do, so I’ll keep this post short for the sake of you all, but I hope those of you who don’t share my interests in novel writing and the NaNoWriMo event this year, will allow me to CHEER !

I set out to do NaNoWriMo (National November/Novel Writing Month) this year as a jump start to finishing more of my projects in progress. I managed to complete the first draft of something new that I’ve been interested in compiling for a bigger purpose for while and while it’s “completed” in the sense that I wrote 50,000 words on it – it’s only a first draft. Most of you know that the first draft of anything needs revision until it’s the way it’s best presentable, so it needs a lot of work before it even sees the light of day. But. It’s done! I’m pleased to feel the rush of satisfaction in knowing that it’s 2 out of the 3 things that I wanted to achieve for 2014. (I managed to write a short story based on some characters from my novella Cryptic back in January this year, but the publication I’d intended it for fell through.) The third thing was one that I’m sure plagues many of us – the diet and exercise “thing” that never quite managed to stick. I yo-yo’d quite a bit this year and with classes…I pretty much said TTFN to it with my work load. I’ll refocus on that for next year <again>.

So what now? Well, next year I’ll work on revisions for what I’ve done in November, but this month I will return my focus on a sequel plan that I have for Cryptic and hope that I’ll have success in finishing the first draft of it also. Maybe some time next year will be when I dust myself off and become published again. One can hope. Or…I can. 🙂  I don’t stop the desire to write more, but as we all know, life gets in the way and if you’re not writing as a full time job and able to support yourself from it (contrary to how everyone views being a writer, not every author can earn a living wage writing), one must find other means to make ends meet.

So. On to the *Snoopy happy dance* 🙂


There. Post complete. Happiness attained. DAC Approved. 😉 

nanowrimo wallpaper


*note: NaNoWriMo is a month where writers get together to collectively write generally a new manuscript of their choosing – as a solo endeavor in the novel itself, but with participants collaboratively focused and encouraging daily word counts of each other in social media, forums, or local group write-in sessions. The goal is to reach 50k of new content in 30 days. The idea is to engage each other in creative and shared love of writing novels. Some participate to jump start their passion for writing again, some like the local participation, and some do it because they’ve been doing it a long time and have proven results (published works). 50k in itself is a pretty short book to read and often an author will add much more to that in later revisions of the draft, but it takes some effort to write 1667 words every day for 30 straight days (unless you’re a full time or prolific author, in which case, that’s just a drop in the bucket). As with anything it depends on your vantage point.



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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in News


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