Monday, December 26, 2016

Rogue One is one with the Force, and the Force is with Rogue One.

This review contains spoilers1  Read at your own risk.

Its hard for me to admit, but this film is better than Episode VII. Its got an originally story, visually stunning shots, great choreography during every scene--especially battle scenes, and has a great ensemble cast.

Chirrut Îmwe: Take hold of this moment. The force is strong.

First lets hit a few (very few) low points: (1) The cameo of R2 and C3PO is poorly timed.  They're watching the ships launch to go to the final battle, which Leia's ship escapes from with the Death Star plans...but, wait, they're supposed to be on that ship already!  Their cameo should have been earlier.  It would have been better utilized if C3PO would have ran into K2SO. Can you imagine that encounter?  R2 would probably blow a few raspberries, and it would be hilarious. (2) Tarkin's height. If you've watched the behind the scenes material from Episode IV, you've heard that Peter Cushing wore slippers during filming.  We'll come back to that later.  My husband noticed during our second viewing that when CG Tarkin stands next to Krennic, he's a head taller than him.  Fast-forward to the scene where Krennic stands next to Vader... and Krennic's merely a head shorter than the Dark Lord. Wait, what??? So Tarkin and Vader are both a head-length taller than Krennic?  Yet in Episode IV, Vader was much taller than Tarkin. Was CG Tarkin wearing his 1970s moon boots during this film versus slippers?  I cannot complain about the CG faces because I personally thought they were fine.  It was Tarkin's height that did not quite "stand up" to the original.  I'm funny... I know. (3) In terms of musical score, I wasn't a biggest fan.  Without the opening crawl that we're used to, things start a bit suddenly.  I felt the music to start things off was a bit overplayed as well as a poor copy of John Williams' brilliant compositions.  Michael Giacchino was not up to the challenge, and this would be my biggest complaint of this film.  But honestly, how can you fill shoes like John Williams?  Giacchino has done some big films recently like Star Trek Beyond and Jurassic World, and he just has not quite held up to the original scores from previous franchise films. Zootopia: good.  Star Wars: meh.

Back to the great stuff.  I love Jyn.  Seriously, its so great to have some strong female anchors in these films.  There was even a female X-wing pilot. THANK YOU!  To provide a little personal history, I grew up idolizing Princess Leia. She was beautiful, tough, and intelligent. She could also hold her own beside an entire rebellion full of men (outside of Mon Mothma and the "stand by ion cannon" female in ESB).  Growing up in the 80s and 90s, what other characters provided a young girl like me this kind of female strength?  NONE.  Even though Return of the Jedi placed Leia in the midst of the fighting, they still had to put her in a bikini, which is basically how that film markets her look!  Frustrating.  I grew up constantly annoyed with the female protagonists in sci-fi and action/adventure films.  Episode VII and Rogue One has really given me a girl power thrill. Honestly, I'm ecstatic to share these characters with my daughter.  Thank you, Rogue One, for giving us a female leading the troops on the front lines.

The other characters are also great.  Are they super fleshed out, no. But you get enough, particularly with Captain Andor who hints at how much the final mission means to him and how he's lost "everything" just like Jyn.  Both Jyn and Andor go through a lot of development in this film. Other characters help round out a diverse and varied cast which all have great chemistry.  KS2O voiced by Alan Tudyk is hilarious.  You may think its another C3PO, but K2SO is his own unique artificially intelligent individual.  Howeer, two of my favorites are Chirrut Imwe, a blind holy man, and his companion, Baze Malbus.  Chirrut is a man who still holds onto faith.  Baze has lost his, but stands by his friend through thick and even thicker.  By the end, Baze finds his faith once more.  Watching their final scenes during my second viewing actually brought a few tears to my eyes.  Their faith, moments when their faith is lost and found, were such highlights to this film.  It was a refreshing touch to Star Wars which has otherwise been absent: the power of faith.  Being a Jedi is one thing, but believing in the Force, an energy field which Chirrut cannot touch, and protecting the Kyber crystals is something entirely different that this film explores.  Even Jyn has a piece of Kyber that she grips to find strength during times of life and death. 

Rogue One is laugh-out-loud funny.  There are a few moments in the other films, but this script is so sharp.  K2SO is hysterical.  So many other comical moments infuse this otherwise sad and dark film.  It definitely is what makes you want to see these characters again and again.

As stated in my summary above, the visuals are so beautiful.  I first watched this film in 3D and would not recommend it.  The action was blurry.  My second viewing in 2D allowed me to revel in the beautiful landscapes and special effect shots. Wow.  The close ups of the Death Star, the reflection on the ships as they passed by planets, the planet-wide shield over Scarif, the attack runs of the X-Wings... so satisfying to long-time Star Wars fans who've watched the films become more beautiful.  And the planet landscapes, particularly Jedha (I love those giant robed men laying in the sand, probably once-revered Jedi), were gorgeous. 

The directing is so well done.  Can this director do the rest of the Star Wars films, please?  Each shot was captured stunningly.  Two particularly chilling moments were when we first see Tarkin's face in the reflection of a window and when Vader is revealed as a large and looming shadow towering over Krennic.  Even when ships would land in the shadow of an overhang or watching the deflector array getting placed in the Death Star... just wow!  Its hard not to talk endlessly about the gorgeous visuals.  Should I even talk about the cut scenes from Episode IV that they utilized in this film to add familiar faces and voices? Completely brilliant!  

Of course, let's not forget Darth Vader.  James Earl Jones is the master in the way Vader inflects his points and dominance.  And that scene at the end where he throws around some Rebel fodder... yeah, I bet your jaw dropped just like mine.  This was the Darth Vader we needed, the confident and sarcastic Vader from Empire Strikes Back.  Hell yes.  

This film is satisfying on so many levels.  Its got a great cast, great special effects, surprises, and excellent characters that provide humor and heart.  I really wish SOMEONE could have survived, but that is sometimes the price of freedom.  As we've heard: Freedom isn't free.  And many heroes are often unsung.  Man I wish there could have been more time spent in between missions that could be novelized for later enjoyment, but this film is fast-paced.  You can feel it in the way its cut together particularly at the end between the different battles.

See this film multiple times.  You'll notice something new each time.  Despite the heart-wrenching ending (yep, everyone dies), it ends with the theme of the entire film: Hope.  And the final shot - loved it!  

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

New Release!

I'm proud to announce the release of my second novel set in ancient Egypt, THE FORGOTTEN: HEIR OF THE HERETIC, which was just released December 19, 2016 (Kindle version). 

HEIR OF THE HERETIC is book two of her THE FORGOTTEN series.  Be sure to check out book 1, THE FORGOTTEN: ATEN’S LAST QUEEN, which was reviewed and named an Indie Editor’s Choice book by the Historical Novel Society.  Both books are available via all major retailers. 

HEIR OF THE HERETIC continues to explore the turbulent “Amarna” period through the eyes of Princess Merytaten, the eldest child of Nefertiti and Akhenaten.  Learn more about J. Lynn and her writing at

Discover the struggles and triumphs of one young woman's lifetime...

Please share your thoughts and feedback. I'm excited to share this new story with you!

Sunday, October 23, 2016


Here it is, the working cover design for "Heir of the Heretic" book 2 of 'The Forgotten' series.  I am very excited because I created this cover design myself with help from  I hope you like!!!!  

Front Cover:

Back and Front Covers:

Book release day is currently planned for November 1, 2016, so mark your calendars!

Until next time I blog, Hetep Hena Ten (peace be with you)!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Golden House Of Pharaoh

In my novel, “The Forgotten: Aten’s Last Queen,” Ankhesenamun, wife to King Tut, must watch as the tomb is sealed on her husband’s short life.  When bringing to life the funeral procession, Opening of the Mouth Ceremony, and sealing the sarcophagus, I was constantly flipping back and forth between reference books to make sure my descriptions were as accurate as possible. 

One of the scenes that easily got mixed up in my head was putting the consecutive lids on Tutankhamun’s sarcophagus.  There were multiple layers, and there were also fabrics and flowers placed between each layer.  I think I went over that scene more than almost any other in making sure everything was being done in the correct order. 

Seeing the replicas of these lids was astounding.  The amount of detail and brilliance of each piece of King Tut’s sarcophagus literally stops you in your tracks.  Additionally, because I was looking at replicas, I could see what these items would have looked like when they were first created.  The delicate lines, the inlayed jewels, the bright shine of gold, I had a hard time leaving the sarcophagus display room!
So let’s bring in my narrative with photos from the Putnam exhibit.  This should be exciting... 
The Hidden Things of the Heart (Excerpt)
1322 B.C.
Funeral Procession of Pharaoh Tutankhamun
            We stood in the breath between silence and speaking.
            The large rectangular stone sarcophagus, which had been prepared inside the tomb, had bided its time.  Like courtyard walls without a central household to protect, it had waited hollow and alone, as if the gods had reached down and scooped up everything inside with their gigantic hands.  It was situated atop a lion-shaped bier which had yet to feel the weight of more than just gold but also a king’s soul.  
            At last, his golden coffin had arrived.  As it finally sat inside the sarcophagus, the coffin we had followed here looked dwarfed by its outer shell.  Servants scurried over with the first lid to be placed over my husband’s image.  I watched as the lid was slowly laid over the coffin, sealing and protecting the House of His Body. 

            My husband now began his descent into the Afterlife.  He would leave this world forever.  One lid had been laid, a lid carved to mimic the golden coffin’s appearance.  The last two were waiting to be placed, two more seals of protection also carved out with his image. 
            It was time to let go.
            In my hand was a wreath.  The base was of papyrus and was shaped beautifully from the season’s foliage: blue cornflowers, olive leaves, and the loose petals of blue water lilies.  I leaned over and blew a kiss down upon the first lid.  Then onto it, encircling the rearing cobra and vulture of the first lid’s crown, I reached down and laid my wreath to rest.  As I stepped back, priests came forward to cover this lid in white shrouds.  Then the next lid was held high before being gently lowered into place. 
            Using handles made from silver, two on each side, the lid was eased down.  I could see fragments missing, intentionally chipped off, from the toe portion of this protective layer.  It disgusted me to think that this was not properly measured in the first place.  The workmen had callously resorted to hacking away the images of my husband because of their own inadequacy.  This carelessness made me sick.  Was this the remembrance fitting a king?  This was what the land offered him?  Broken beauty, halved names, and thus forgotten prayers intended to seal his life.  That and subsequently more shrouds laid upon the surface by the dutiful priests.
            Next came the final lid, which had been crafted to match the base of the large sarcophagus.  But this lid had broken in its construction.  Originally of yellow quartzite, the workmen had to prepare a new one quickly, and the replacement was made from pink granite which was then painted over in yellow to attempt to match the base.  I sighed mournfully.  It was a poor substitute.  Everything about this day was underwhelming.  The world had moved so quickly, ready to leave Tutankhamun and everything associated with him behind in its wake -- including me.  The respect and love he deserved at his final goodbye was forgotten.
Photo by:
           The final lid was laid, and an echoing thump rang.  As the sound finally settled in my ears, I knew it was time to leave.  The funerary banquet would begin when we returned to the palace, and Ay would sit in my husband’s chair.
            I turned away, and the last thing I saw of his body’s house was the etchings of outstretched wings attached to one of four goddesses.  The four ladies, Isis, Nephthys, Neith, and Selket, were positioned on each corner of the stone sarcophagus.  I did not look close enough at the high relief to distinguish which goddess it was, all I knew was that they would now protect him.  I did not want to look closely enough to see if these images were also damaged in some way.
Photo by:
Copyright 2015 J. Lynn Else
Published by J. Lynn Else at CreateSpace
(First published August 15th 2013)
According to observations made at the time of discovery, it was noted that parts of King Tut’s sarcophagus were, in fact, damaged!  From the quartzite lid to the ill-fitting coffin lids, despite the overwhelming beauty of the pieces, there were also many flaws.  Because completion of his funerary materials were prepared so quickly, mistakes were made, and there was not enough time to fix them.
When I was still in college, my grandfather passed away.  As a veteran of WWII, he was buried at Fort Snelling.  I remember being so upset with the trumpet player who performed taps at the end of the outdoor service.  It was played very quickly (like double time!), there were a few missed notes, and then he walked off.  I’m not sure if he had another funeral to get to, but I remember being so upset at the lack of respect and the hasty job that trumpet player gave my grandfather.  I brought this feeling into my story through Ankhesenamun’s feelings during the funeral procession and burial--only in her case, we’re talking about a ruler of her world, a Pharaoh.  Their belief system demanded strict rituals, prayers, and spells which enabled Pharaoh to pass through the different hours of the Afterlife.  

Howard Carter spent four painstaking years excavating King Tut’s tomb.  The grandest of all his finds was the intact stone sarcophagus containing three coffins nested within each other.  Inside the final coffin, made of solid gold, was the mummy of Tutankhamun preserved for more than 3,000 years.
Photo from:'s-tomb/
Per The exposed outer coffin of Tutankhamun, measuring 2.24 meters long with its head positioned to the west, rested on a low leonine bier that was still intact though certainly suffering from the strain of a ton and a quarter worth of weight it had endured over the prior 3,200 years. Fragments chipped from the toe of the coffin lid at the time of the burial, a crude attempt to rectify a design problem and allow the sarcophagus lid to sit properly, were found in the bottom of the sarcophagus. The chippings revealed that the coffin was made of cypress with a thin layer of gesso overlaid with gold foil.
The original design of the outermost coffin's lid had incorporated four silver handles, two on each side, which were used to lower the lid into place...these same handles would be used, once more to raise this lid, by Howard Carter and his team.
Photo from:
When an object is still able to be used as designed after 3,000 years!?! Well, that’s just master craftsmanship there.
Keep watching for more photos and stories about the life and death of King Tut.  Then discover more about this fascinating family with The Forgotten 2: “Heir of the Heretic” set to be released at the end of this year!!!  A few scenes may be dropped in subsequent posts. 
Until that time, here’s a little verse for you:
The sacred barque will be joyful and the great god will proceed in peace when you allow this soul of mine to ascend vindicated to the gods... May it see my corpse, may it rest on my mummy, which will never be destroyed or perish.

— Book of the Dead, spell 89 —

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ensuring Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt

In my last blog post, I shared photos from my visit to the Discovery of King Tut exhibit, leaving off at the Treasury Room.  So this is where we'll pick up on today.

Per KingTutOne.comThe treasury room was stocked with many items such as shrines, chests, boats, and two of King Tut’s believed stillborn daughters. This room could easily be accessed directly through the burial chamber on the eastern side of the room’s wall. Although this room could be easily accessed, a statue guard with a large portable shrine of the jackal-headed god named Anubis was strategically placed at the entrance.

Definitely one of the most eye-catching items is the carved wood shrine gilded in gold surrounded by four goddesses that protected the internal organs of Tutankhamun.  This is known as "The Canopic Shrine."  It measured 6 feet and 6 inches tall.  The organs were placed in four mini gold coffins.  Each of these were under proction of a different goddess as follows: Isis - the liver; Nephthys - the lungs; Neith - the stomach; Selket - the intestines. The heart was left in the body.

The canopic chest itself was carved from a single block of alabaster.  In this chest rested the mini coffins of the internal organs.  Their stoppers were shaped into the head of the king.  Sound creepy?  Its actually quite beautiful, as I'll show below.  Though typically, the stoppers were sculpted into the heads of Horus' four sons.  Four cylindrical compartments held the organ coffins.  The four goddesses are also found here enveloping the corners of the chest.

So why did these organs have such protection around them?  The ancient Egyptians believed the deceased would need these organs in the afterlife.  Thus, they were carefully stored.  The four organs were individually wrapped and placed in their respective jars.  After that, oils were poured over the organs.  Finally, the jars were ritually closed, conserving the organs for eternity.  The deceased needed their body preserved in order to pass into the Afterlife.  These four organs were vital to complete the body.  Without them, the deceased would not be able to live eternally.  

Another eye-catching item in the treasury is the shrine of Anubis. This item guarded the entrance to the Treasury.  It is made from wood and covered in black resin.  His eyes were inlaid with calcite and obsidian set in gold.  The Anubis statue was wrapped in a linen shirt from Pharaoh Akhenaten's 7th regnal year according to ink hieroglyphs on the shrine.  A scarf was tied around the neck of Anubis, with lotus and cornflowers woven in it. 

Check out this picture from 1922 of how the Treasure looked when it was discovered.  You can see the linens finely draped around the proud Anubis statue.  Photograph by Harry Burton. 

Per The shrine was placed on a kind of sledge, which had two carrying poles projecting from the front and back. It is therefore presumed that the Anubis shrine was used in the funerary procession of the Pharaoh and finally placed in front of the canopic chest in the Store Room.

You can find a scene in my book, "The Forgotten: Aten's Last Queen," where this statue leads the funeral procession of Tutankhamun.  Bringing to life the traditions and beautiful detail of this ancient world was immensely satisfying for me.  I spent a moment in my book when my main character reflects upon King Tut's death and looks to the Anubis Shrine in her musings.  Can you find this scene in my book?  

Further posts to come about the treasures of King Tut leading up to the release of book 2 of "The Forgotten" series, "Heir of the Heretic."  May Aten protect you until we meet again!  

Friday, August 26, 2016

Discovering King Tut's Tomb - A Modern Retelling

The exhibit my family and I recently visited, "The Discovery of King Tut," included painstakingly made, scientifically produced reproductions featured at The Putnam Museum in Davenport, Iowa.

My daughter and I outside the museum.

At first, this may sound somewhat dissatisfying.  However, the exhibit was extremely well done.  The original artifacts discovered in King Tut's tomb are no longer permitted to tour outside of Egypt either!  Plus, with the reproductions, items were able to be piled on top of one another in order to recreate the discovery of Tutankamun's tomb.  And this was the true magic of the exhibit, being able to walk into rooms recreated exactly as they were found when Howard Carter first discovered the tomb.

Dr. David P. Silverman, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Pennsylvania, the curator for the last King Tut exhibition that toured the United States containing authentic artifacts, has lent his support to the exhibition by saying, "The concept of the exhibition really breaks new ground in presenting ancient Egyptian cultural history. Egyptian antiquities from King Tut's tomb can no longer travel outside Egypt, but this exhibition will make available nearly 1,000 precise replicas of breathtaking items found among the young pharaohs treasures."

The first chamber we discover.

King Tut's burial was a rushed affair.  His unexpected death at his young age left the country scrambling.  The tomb itself was not a pharaoh's tomb style.  It was too small, and the traditional items and wall decorations had to be crammed into the space.  Many of the prayers and incantations believed to guide pharaohs during their journey through the Afterlife were missing in Tut's tomb.  

Our second discovery: the burial chamber - which was quite breathtaking!

Seeing these rooms recreated with such detail and care was a true delight.  It was apparent with the reproductions how talented and creative the ancient Egyptian craftsmen were.  My favorite room was definitely the Burial Chamber.  At first, all you can see is a screen, and images of Howard Carter and his team were displayed with a narrative about what the find meant to them personally.  As the narrative continued, my anxiousness to see the artifact recreations grew and grew.  When the lights finally illuminated the items behind the screen, well, it was definitely an awe-inspiring moment for me.  I think most of the audience members felt transported to Egypt in that moment.  The colors were so vivid, the details ornate.  

King Tut's tomb was discovered largely intact in the Valley of the Kings in 1922 by a team led by Howard Carter.  My daughter's favorite wall of the burial chamber was definitely the western wall.  It's covered with 12 baboons.  These represent the 12 hours throughout the night which a pharaoh must pass before entering the Afterlife. In the upper left corner, you can see a painted boat on which pharaoh will journey upon.  

Per the Putnum Museum's Press Release: The discovery of King Tutankhamun’s tomb is considered the most famous discovery in the history of archaeology, and in modern times, the context of its finding has been lost. The exhibition allows visitors to experience the background of this historic discovery, and to get to know the most important artifacts through stunning and scientifically produced reconstructions. These remarkable, individual presentations allow the world to experience the treasures of King Tutankhamun’s tomb without compromising the fragile originals, most of which are not permitted to be toured.

An international team of exhibition designers worked for over five years on the realization of this Exhibition under the scientific direction of Egyptologists Dr. Martin von Falck and Dr. Wolfgang Wettengel. 

There's been a lot of news recently about King Tut's tomb, known as KV62, regarding hidden burial chambers (perhaps of Queen Nefertiti herself!).  Unfortunately, the latest news reported that: "Radar scans conducted by a National Geographic team have found that there are no hidden chambers in Tutankhamun's tomb, disproving a claim that the secret grave of Queen Nefertiti lurks behind the walls."  

Bummer.  This was actually a possibility included in my book!!!  More information about this recent press release can be found here:

The final chamber we discovered was the Treasury, but I believe I have covered quite a bit in this one blog post!  Thus, I will wrap things up for now.  Stay tuned for further details in the coming month.  More amazing exhibit photos to come, a welcome doorway into the enchanting world of ancient Egypt.  

Be prepared to see more wonderful things!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Final Appearance of the Season!

If you're in Rochester, be sure to check out the Rochester Author's Thursday on First booth!  I'll be there from 10:00 - 12:00 P.M. signing books purchased.  I also just got a couple "Aten's Last Queen" magnets which may be freebies with purchase (I just have to remember to pack them for the day)!

Here's some information about the event itself:  There are many great local vendors with food and hand-made items to discover.

Its been great to be able to meet and greet fellow book lovers.  Self-published authors rarely get opportunities of this kind.  I've been out once in July, and I will be there for the final author booth appearance this Thursday.  If you're in the area, please stop by and say hi!

Here's a great article about our group and the talented people you can meet on Thursdays:

Mark your calendars!  Its going to be a lot of fun!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Ghostbusters Gets Girl Empowered

On a rare kid-free evening, I decided to hit the movie theater.  I have no problem going by myself to enjoy a little “me” time.  The only question of the night (besides “would you like butter on your popcorn?”) was choosing between Ghostbusters and Bad Moms.  Since I had a free movie ticket and Bad Moms did not accept passes, I chose Ghostbusters.  Admittedly, I was curious about the movie.  I heard mixed reviews about it so had no idea what to expect.
I grew up on the Ghostbusters movie and cartoon.  I remember quoting Bill Murray often (“...dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!”), and I don’t think that movie would have been as successful without Bill Murray’s oft ad-libbed lines.   Thus, this new crew had a lot of live up to.
The movie opened with a tour guide leading a group through an old mansion.  The humor is very subtle in the beginning and could easily fly by if you were not paying attention (ie, still on your phone).  The spookiness begins almost immediately with an old house, a creepy former resident, and a mysterious hidden device working together to reel the audience into the plot. 
Of the four leads, we’re first introduced to Kristin Wiig’s character as she prepares to give a college lecture.  Through her, we are introduced to two other characters.  Meanwhile, ghostly encounters are on the rise throughout New York, and we soon meet our fourth team member. 

I was thoroughly entertained by this movie.  It was funny, it was well cast, it had special effects that worked with the technology used, and it had some kick butt moments.  But one of my favorite aspects was the fact that a group of four women were the main characters in an action film. 
Growing up, I saw groupings/teams of men who saved the day with maybe a “girl” or two as a sidekick: the A-Team, the original Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, Star Trek (original and somewhat TNG), Battlestar Galactica, Indiana Jones, Knight Rider, He-Man, X-Men, Smurfs, GI Joe...  *sigh*
Very few movies, TV shows, or cartoons had more than one female (or any) helping to overcome the odds.  Typically females were blonde bombshells who screamed and needed to be rescued (i.e., the super annoying Vicky Vale in Batman). 

Patty Tolan: [seeing a room filled with mannequins] Okay, room full of nightmares.

Sure, Star Wars had Princess Leia, but because of the time period it was made, Leia didn’t do nearly as much as Han and Luke.  The (now non-cannon) books helped bridge this gap for her character, but Return of the Jedi was all I had for Princess Leia truly taking an active role in defeating the enemy.  To see her expertly shoot a gun and ride a speeder bike and choke a crime lord to death - that was a culmination of bad ass-ness for girls growing up in the 80s. 
But, of course, all the marketing for Return of the Jedi included Leia in her slave costume.  She couldn’t kick butt unless skin was revealed.  Even with Avengers movies, Black Widow seems to always forget to zip her black skin-tight suit up over the chest region. 
What do we have now-a-days?  It’s only slightly better.  This includes the Harry Potter books, the Percy Jackson series, the Transformer movies (thanks for all the female butt shots in those movies Mr. Bay because, you know, girls never played with transformers, right???  Oh, no wait, they did.), Star Trek (get rid of the 1960’s-era skirts! You re-made Kirk’s jacket!), Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission Impossible, Lord of the Rings (I acknowledge that Peter Jackson did what he could with the source material), Avengers and their related solo spin offs, etc.  Again, we have disproportionate teams, and all the teams are led by men.  I love some of these franchises, but they have left me disappointed now and again.
Back to Ghostbusters.  These women are not always pretty, and they do not mind getting messy.  They dress in jumpsuits and casual clothes.  They’re intelligent.  They dive headlong into their work and are not waylaid by danger (or threats from the mayor).  And check out the movie posters!  Is anyone turned around showing off their butt or zipping down their suits?  NO!  Because women are more than just the display of their parts!  Sorry, that got a little crude there… I’m just really excited about women as scientists.  Talk about new ground being broken!

Was this movie epic?  Not quite.  There were some scenes that attempted to force the humor onto the audience (Melissa McCarthy flying around with the proton beam waiting for it to lose power or scenes with the mayor’s assistant who was not believable).  Some of the cameos were also uncomfortably forced into the movie.  Dan Akroyd and Bill Murray were actually my least favorite cameos with Annie Potts, Ernie Hudson, and Sigourney Weaver’s being my favorites - because they worked naturally within the flow of the plot.  In fact, one of my favorite lines was from a cameo while Holtzmann’s new containment unit was being discussed.  The actress asks what she’s always told Holtzmann.
Jillian Holtzmann: Safety lights are for dudes!

I felt like I could relate to the different characters, more than just one, and I could see my friends as other characters.  I mean, those thoughts alone were like revelations.  Look at that: me and my girls could bust some ghosts instead of be a romantic interest in some other hero’s action movie (though if it’s Captain America doing the asking - call me!)
There were many excellent scenes that built up the characters and their relationships.  And the scene where the team interviews Kevin (Chris Hemsworth) is fantastic.  Everything with Wiig trying to flirt with Hemsworth cracked me up (because that would so be me - all awkward and geeky).   Yet there was no need for a romantic subplot in this movie.  Those scenes were just fun.  The story focused on the team working together to uncover who was bringing ghosts into the city and why. 
While the main villain is not terribly scary, this movie doesn’t pretend he is either.  The villain is unveiled very early on.  Is his motivation earth-shattering or full of depth and backstory?  No, but neither is the movie.  It’s a good balance of serious and funny moments. 

Plus, the women kick ass at the end.  I loved the proton whips that came out, the musical score rising in awesomeness, and ghosts being sent back to their maker.  I enjoyed how the proton packs were used a little differently not only to catch but also to throw ghosts out of the way.  I liked the team using skills with their physical weapons along with their intelligence to defeat the main villain.  There is great dynamics and humor between the four women, and the relationship building adds to the appeal of the film.  

Finally, Hollywood has flipped on its head the typical action hero film.  I got a huge GIRL POWER rush after this film was done.

Hemsworth was great as the pretty but dumb blonde.  I liked the new ghostbuster team.  I rocked out to the music.  I appreciated the look of the equipment - it felt more raw and hand-crafted than those in the original.  I even felt more danger/menace with these ghosts versus those of the 1980s films. 

Abby Yates: It's really easy sit there and be the naysayer when you don't actually do anything.

Was this a man-hating cartoonish reboot?  No.  And no one seemed to have a problem with Peter Venkmann’s creepy stalking of Dana in the original.  Let’s consider how Dana was treated in the 80s film.  She asks for help when she discovers a hell beast in her fridge.  Venkmann comes over to examine everything in her apartment except the fridge but including her bedroom.  He stands too close.  He doesn’t listen.  He makes inappropriate comments.  He just wants to get in her pants.  Eventually she shoves him out but later accepts his offer to go on a date.  Huh?  Later, a demon possesses Dana’s body, makes her proposition her body and make out with one guy and subsequently causes her to have sex with a neighbor guy she dislikes - yet this is a “joke” for the movie.  I didn’t know sexual assault by any means (in this case, by the supernatural) was a joke.  But hey, it’s a classic! 

So let’s be fair when we compare these movies, shall we?  If this is considered man-hating, the original should be considered woman-hating.  The original had an all-male team with a female villain who was wearing a bubbly outfit and high heels.  Interesting.  Kind of like this film as an all-female team and a male villain?  Not sure how that’s man-hating.  More like completely turning the tables.  Also of note, have the 50 different Spiderman reboots ruined the franchise?  No.  Batman reboots?  No.  So this should not be considered a franchise killer either. 

This movie re-invents a franchise and has a good time doing so.  I felt it was done well.  I’m waving my nerd flag high!  Rock on, Ghostbusters.  I hope to see you again.  It’s not going to be hard to surpass Ghostbusters II!  Because women can be comedy and action stars too