Monday, December 29, 2008

Don't you Love the Holidays?

Oh, the Holidays! I don't care much for the winter breaks since I feel more tired coming back to my responsibilities than when I left. Plus, I had to spend time with a certain cretin, my brother. If both of us were in the same breathing range, it was like putting two fire fish in the same bowl. We're opposites in almost every way: I'm pretty conservative, he lives in San Francisco. Go figure. I really don't know why my Mum insists on us being at home at the same time. I stayed out of the house as much as I could wandering around my hometown haunts or barricading myself with movies and shows. I couldn't watch any films though without being bombarded with a smart ass or technical answer to every scene. My brother is a film nut but in the most obnoxious sense. I had a few emergencies that popped up that kept me away from my friends sadly but luckily everything turned out okay.

I'm back in the relative peace and quiet of Orange County. I almost want the winter quarter to start; keyword: almost. I'm not bored yet. I've been able to go browse around the shops and do whatever I feel like. The weather has been nice and cold for scarves and combat boots. In So Cal its hard to get into the winter spirit. I feel out of place if I show up with a fedora and boots and some people are still walking around in flip-flops.

I have been horrible on watching horror movies! I only re-watched "The Orphanage" and that's it. I did get another 50 movie pack this time with more films of Barbara Steele and Christopher Lee. Steele has such an exotic look. My favorite actresses are the ones who don't fit the usual sense of beautiful. Grayson Hall and Juliet Landau are a couple more examples. I'll slowly go through those movies and recommend the best.

Hmmm... I'm still on a Tony Head trip. I'll be picking up the second season of "Little Britain" tonight hopefully. I did get to watch "Little Britain Live" and just loved the daring of Lucas and Walliams. Would you go on stage and do a "buffalo Bill" dance as in "Silence of the Lambs?" I sat there with my jaw in my lap. Walliams, I guess, is comfortable in his skin. "Repo!" will be out on DVD on January 20th! I can't wait! I'm a sucker for the special features and I'd love to see all the behind the scenes stuff. And its a kick ass movie that everyone should see... even though Paris Hilton is in it and still getting more recognition than the stars... I'm not bitter...

So at Comic Con this year, I sat in on the "Doll House" panel with Joss Whedon and Eliza Dushku. The show sounds really good, but after hearing about the re-shoots and little conflicts, I don't think it'll survive. Stick with Dr. Horrible, Joss, and contemplate a new "Buffy" movie or "Ripper" spin off. Let's all face it, Joss is a cool nerd, but that isn't enough if the writing is weak. PS. Stay away from FOX! Why in hell did you go back to them? They are almost as bad as NBC. The only show FOX has kept alive is "The Simpsons" and even they have started lacking in the laughs. I'll go and dodge all the hate mail the "Simpsons" fans are going to throw at me.

Anyway, I hope everyone out there has had a good Christmas, Holiday, Solstice, or whatever you celebrate, and have an awesome New Year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Television: Not so Dead as I thought.

It's been a while since I've written anything on here so I plan to make it up this weekend. I watched a couple of movies, one good, one so horrible it made me question Christopher Lee's sanity for a moment. I've been doing a lot of reading, finally finding the next Vampire Hunter D novel and slowly reading my way through several analogies (one by the notable David J. Skal if you like vampire fiction). It's been a busy but good week.

Television is my least favorite media. Wait, no. Let me rephrase. I hate t.v. Mostly everything on basic, satellite, whatever, is trash. The writing sucks and the acting is horrible. Sitcoms have been dead for years but we have millions of people watching "Desperate Housewives" or "CSI: Nowhere." Don't get me started on how wrong CSI is since it will be a part of my chosen profession. "Heroes" had potential I thought, but after one episode it was just not worth my time. "Lost" is worst. I almost got jumped for saying that its one of the most boring shows out there. I wouldn't complain about them if people loved them for how bad they were. That I can fully understand since I love movies which are so bad, they aren't even worthy of a B rating. I have a beef with people trying to pass them off as great works which should win every award under the sun. Ugh.

I do have some hope though. I've been tuning into a ton of BBC stuff and loving it. Yeah, the only reason I started watching "Merlin" was for Tony Head, but then I started watching the other actors and how the stories are brilliant and following Arthinian legend more closely than any other series I've seen in a long time. John Hurt narrates the series and also supplies the voice of the Dragon. Just last night I could not help but laugh at one of the plot twists because it was so perfectly executed! Can't you see the irony of a prince helping out a young boy and then only finds out the boy's name at the end; the audience alone knows that the boy grows up to be the prince's murderer? I love it when shows throw in teasers of what is to come, maybe whole seasons away. I'm a sucker for legends and mythology so seeing it played out with these hints just had me cheering. If you don't have satellite or can't order the channel its on, don't worry. It's suppose to be showing sometime early 2009 (not so far away now) on NBC. I'm only hoping they don't give it a shitty time slot.

So that is it for Television. Seriously, I don't have the time to watch so I'm literally just seeing what my favorite actors are doing and branching out from there.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer

Not too shabby an ending to a good show. It took me about a month and a half to get through all seven seasons (I primarily watched it in the wee hours of the morning). I liked it though. Not one of my favorites, but I did enjoy Joss Whedon's take on vampires and demons. Vampires are suppose to be creatures of evil and loathing. They are suppose to embody vices humans crave but which are ultimately our damnation (immortality, the taking of lives to live). I know from watching interviews and reading transcripts, Whedon liked "The X Files" and it had an XF vibe to it. It was like watching XF for older teens.

With its tendency to not take itself seriously, the show had a weird nostalgic feel of "Kolchak." Anyone else (if you know what "Kolchak" was) know what I'm talking about? Darin McGavin was a really serious actor (Lara Parker once commented he was "difficult") but he didn't take the show seriously. And it worked! It works here perfectly, too, with BtVS, as fans supposedly abbreviate it.

I probably, most likely, will get the comics and check out "season 8." It was a fun series and it'll be interesting to see if anything else comes of it. Maybe the "Ripper" spin-off BBC has been flip-flopping over?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some Movie Tidbits

I just saw some of the new teaser trailers they have out for Dragonball: Evoluntion (formerly only Dragonball). Now, I was really, supper iffy about this movie since I heard about its conception a decade ago. Seriously, it has been over a decade that this movie has been trying to get to the silver screen. I ran home to watch Dragonball, DBZ, and some of DB GT when it was on Cartoon Network in middle school and watched the episodes in spanish over the weekend. [It was great hearing Gohan, "Senor Piccolo! Donde esta su planeta y mi padre?"] No one could be as much as a badass as Goku and Vegeta (who is not in this film). When I saw the teaser photos, I rejected any possibility that this movie would last a week in the theaters. It looked horrible. The first trailer that leaked online looked bad, also.

This new one may have potential. The film is still going to not do well by any standards because it doesn't capture a large audience. The only thing that would save it would be word of mouth and just kids (old and young) who remember following along the stories and watching the anime movies. In the new teaser trailer, we get glimpses of fight scenes that look like they can entertain. I think I may have a ray of hope for this film.

A friend last night clued me into a fun gig for January. "Dark Knight" is going to be re-released in theaters on January 23rd. It really wants to beat Titanic so I say go see it. I was watching it in blu-ray last night and it was marvelous. I should have a blu-ray player soon so I can enjoy all the highest def my mind can handle.

I am going to get reaquainted with the New Beverly soon. I haven't been there in so long. I miss sitting with a very enthusiastic audience, watching people walk in with piazza boxes stuffed in their shirts (I'm talking about larges here), hearing the not-so-silent chink of alcoholic beverage bottles hit the floor and the giggles that follow it from everyone in the room. I really hope they are going to show "Black Christmas" and "Silent Night, Deadly Night" again or any other horror movie that deals with Christmas ("Gremlins" maybe?).

I'm thoroughly enjoying being off.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Coffee and Cigarettes

Great movie, but I'm just stealing the title. I don't smoke. I do enjoy a cigarette every long once in a while in social settings. I can say my last cigg was at the beginning of summer. I never really got hooked or anything because I'm already a sucker for coffee. I drank a pot the day before yesterday to help me stay up till dawn and then downed almost another pot during the day. I kept it black, too (except for the Starbuck's peppermint mocha twist I endulged in). I promptly died last night around 12:15 after finishing my finals and getting the feeling back into my neck and back. I'm done though! My next quarter does not begin until January 7 or somewhere around that date. I won't bitch or gripe again about school unless winter turns out as bad or God forbid, worse, than this one (stupid economy cancelling classes and stuff).

The best news I've heard in a while came to me through one of the many Yahoo! mailing lists I'm on. Looks like Johnny Depp and Tim Burton are going to start filming "Dark Shadows" in the summer of next year! I thought it was a bad joke when I got the email. Filming will be done primiarily in London. This makes me wonder what storyline they are going to use or whether John August wrote a completely new one. It's ironic because the main character is affectionately called "The Cousin from England" but he had never set foot on English soil. More casting news should come through soon but I'm going to add my two cents. Alan Rickman should be cast. I have a feeling he's going to be Burton's regular guys. He could be cast as the main character's stuffy father, the brother of the matriach in the present day, or even as one of the villains (a character by the name of Evan Handly comes to mind [Evan was a satanic lawyer]). I should have asked him that last Wednesday, but his voice wiped every coherent thought from my head.
I think this movie will be pretty badass if Depp keeps it "traditional." The television show is still really out there even for today's standards.

I'm going through a bit of a Tony Head addiction at the moment. After seeing "Repo!" I was intrigued. Then started watching "Buffy" and "Little Britain" and I was sold. I can never pin-point exactly what attracts me to these older guys, but they are great and have solid work. I found episodes of "Merlin," his newest series, online so I'll probably catch up on those. There's going to be a convention in London for Joss Whedon so I'm stalking the guest list for that. I found great airfare to Heathrow right now, but I think I can get a better deal with Virgin if I wait a bit longer. The only snag in that plan is whether I can get the time off with my new job. I miss London so bad. I have been trying to go back but between time and finances... it sucks.

All I know as of this moment, in 2010, I'll be backpacking through the streets of the cities I've always wanted to visit in Europe.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Going Back to Normal

After this action packed week, I'll return back to my semi-normal, not so hectic life. Life is good even though Finals are looming over my head and a very important step in my new job application process is coming up. I'm choosing a career in law enforcement so it is a very long process. It is worth it. For all the additional stress, I'm thriving off it instead of becoming downtrodden and weary. I'm a work-a-holic when there is work to be done and deadlines to finish (which I always finish early; I'll stop bragging). I'm going to miss the company and people I work for now. I have never worked for a place where they have taken such good care of their employees.

Hopefully, after Tuesday, I'll go back to viewing more movies every day. I just picked up (thanks to an early present from said company above) two dvds: "The Orphanage" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," the movie. I've seen both. I still need to go through a lot of my classics, also. The break will be the best time for it since I'll just be at work in the mornings, working out in the afternoons, and settling down in the evenings. Most of my friends out here will be gone so there will be no late night jaunts (unless its something I can't miss).

Speaking of late night jaunts, I'll be attempting the almost impossible feat of changing my sleeping pattern. Again. Right now I wake up at 7 am and go to bed at 1 or 2 am (and sometimes 3) every day. I'm a night owl. In high school, I had the same schedule since I had a ridiculous amount of homework and reading every night. One night I didn't even sleep because of a damn project and presentation I had the next afternoon. Luckily I wasn't the only one and our other teachers took a little pity on us. I want to be able to wake up rested at 5:30 am and go to bed at 9:30 or 10 pm. Is it sad 10 pm sounds so early? With my night classes starting again in Winter Quarter, I'll push the time to 6: 30 am since my classes get out at 10. I don't want to kill myself like I almost did this quarter.

It is a funny feeling knowing that after I had met my favorite people in the world, I can walk up to anybody now and not be so starstruck. I've been searching for new events to go to of the new people I've taken an interest in. I think I'm going to wait and see what conventions are coming to town and just show up. You really never know who you are going to meet. I actually got a wink from James Marsters a couple years back but I didn't know who he was! My friend with me had to fill me in. Now, after getting into Buffy, I'm kicking myself for not at least getting a photo with him. He's a cheeky, flirty guy who knows how to work the fans. I think Fangoria is having their convention here in April and the Sci Fi channel has theirs around that time, too. The next Potter con is in July in San Francisco, but by then I don't know if I'll be in training or not so that's up in the air. There is another one in Boston, but I can't really fly out. I'll visit some other time when I want to go for the history. I'm bummed about the next Dark Shadows Festival. They are holding that in Rhode Island next summer. I've gone to the Fests for the past two years in a row. Oh well. With Johnny Depp's movie in the works (sort of), they will probably hold it here in Burbank again in 2010 or 11. It will make sense, especially if Depp holds the premiere at the Kodak or Grauhman's Chinese Theater.

If anyone knows of any convention or symposium happening in 2009, please, let me know. It could be anything horror, book, tattoo, piercing, sci fi, and all the other stuff related (and even if it's not related, I find everything interesting). Location doesn't matter. I really want to go to the collector's con (forgot the name) they hold in England so I'll have to see how my expenses pan out. I didn't mention Comic Con (San Diego) above because I went this year and didn't care for it at all. It was just too many people. I felt like I was in flea market. I'll have to know the line up before I sign up for it again because I'll only go to see people I know won't appear any where else (which isn't many in my book). Going incognito and alone is a must. It's every man or woman for themselves at that place.

One more thing... If any of the following people plan on appearing at events, hints or just a plain location will be very much appreciated: Quentin Taratino [who is at the New Bev sometimes but I always miss him!], Robert Rodriquez, Guillermo Del Torro, Tim Burton, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Caleb Carr, Anthony Stewart Head, James Marsters, David Williams, Matt Lucas, Christopher Lee, and I'll leave it at that for now.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Meeting the Love of My Life.

Wow. Thank God I did not faint but Lord, I wanted to after what happened. Everything went great and was more than I expected.

I arrived in LA around 5. I ran into one of my friends, Marisa, in the Kodak Theater (easiest place to park in Hollywood) so we walked over to Jimmy's building which is directly in front. Our other friends, Quinn and Cindi, were waiting in line. I was too damned excited. I rocked back and forth on the balls of my feet, wrung my hands, checked my cell phone repeatedly. Tasha joined us around 5:45. I was all smiles and trepidation.

The people who ran the show finally let us in at 6:15 and had us wait around until they let us into the main room. If you've ever been to a taping, it takes forever to get into the studio. They sit you at specific places and fuss over everything. It wasn't as bad as when I with a ton of diehard X Files fans waiting to see Gillian Anderson. Our crowd was made up of fans of Dennis Leary and Ice Cube. The Ice Cube fanclub seemed to have bought a good chunk of the tickets. It did not stop us from being the loudest we could be.

If you saw the Jimmy Kimmel show last night, you know what happened there (or if not, click HERE). Leary had me cracking up and dying of laughter. He was a cool guy. They hit for commercial and then readied the stage for Rickman. My friends would glance at me and smile knowingly. I was elbowed a couple times. When they gave the 30 second warning, I couldn't think. In the 20 seconds after, all I did was stare at the door he would come through. The lights went back up and Jimmy introduced him.

Luckily I was "whooping" and "howling" so I had to breathe. I think that helped. I could feel my face turn tomato red and my skin tighten as my smile grew of its own accord. I loved when Jimmy mentioned the Voice study. Rickman was so incredulous. He really doesn't see his appeal or attraction. I wish his interview had been longer. One of the highlights for me was when he perfectly delivered a line from Die Hard. My God, that movie was 20 years ago! I did do that fangirl squeal. Ugh, what has this man reduced me to?!

The interview ended and he sauntered off stage, smiling and waving briefly to fans. My friends and I only thought of how the hell we were going to get out of there and to the backdoor. The crew did let us out a side door and we ran to the back. The major thing that sucked was the crew had made us check our cameras at the door. They would not give them back until after taping was over. We still had our trusty camera phones. A crowd was already there getting autographs and photos. I froze in the back. I could see him clearly. He was less than ten feet away. My friends has jumped fearlessly into the fray. Quinn kept pushing me to the front and telling me to get a photo. I couldn't do it. I was so embarrassed to even be standing there. It was a horrible feeling for someone who is usually as confident as hell.

Quinn actually grabbed me at one point and made to pick me up and push me to the front. I elbowed him. I apologize! Finally, I joined the others on their side since they were able to make a gap in the front. Tasha had my shoulders. Then the unbelievable happened.

Quinn shouted, "Alan, my friend, Alex, is in love with you and is too shy to talk to you!"

He smirked! Rickman smirked and turned to in our direction. I have never heard my name said like that. Rickman said hello to me and shook my hand as I tried to remember how to function. [The Drama is soaking in this post.] I replied it was nice to meet him and then turned for a quick photo. My friends were kidding me about my freeze up. I walked shakily back up to the street. HERE is a little bit of what happened in the back.

I really did feel drunk afterwards. A late dinner and a coconut margarita set me to rights. Thanks to Marisa, Tasha, Cindi, and especially Quinn! I would have never gotten the courage to walk up to him and talk to him if you guys hadn't pushed me. Love you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

I really despise that song. My apologies. It fits though since I have about 27 hours to go until I am in attendance at the Jimmy Kimmel Show in LA, trying to remember to breathe when Alan Rickman walks out onto that black, shiny stage. I will also be trying not to do that horrible fangirl squeal when he starts talking. This is the story about why I am so damned nervous and why I am embarrassed whenever someone mentions the words "London" and "park bench" in the same sentence.

In the summer of 2005, I went to London with the best group of girls and toured the city along with a short stay in Stratford-upon-Avon first. We were back in London on day 4 or 5 (I'd have to consult my journal to know for sure) and our first stop of the day was the Tower of London. If you've been there, you know there are always a lot of tourists ambling around, shops lining the Thyme's, all the good touristy stuff. It was warm that day for the British. I was bundled in a jacket, scarf, and gloves and received many looks. I'm from Southern California, warm for me is 85+ Fahrenheit, not 60F.

Our teacher gave us our tickets and let us loose to browse all the splendor and tragedy that is the Tower. A friend and I went through the White Tower first. I was ahead of her and the group when I exited the castle. I saw canons lining the wall and nonchalantly went over to them and took photos.

That was when I noticed the man on the park bench.

I almost dropped my camera. He was siting in a very relaxed pose. One leg crossed over the other. His left arm was stretched along the back of the bench. He wore a black jacket, a blue, button up shirt, with jeans and black dress shoes. [I still remember like it was yesterday.] His blondish white hair shined in the sunlight. I couldn't see his eyes because he was wearing sunglasses. His face though! I knew it!

At that point, I panicked. I did not have the bravery nor courage to approach him, to just hear him talk and validate his identity. I gasped. I actually did a full blown gasp! Now I knew what people were talking about in novels. I needed someone to be there with me so I walked as quickly as I could to the exit, ignoring all the signs telling tourist not to go that way, in order to find my friend. She knew I was in crush mode with Rickman. I had to pass him again and when I tried to not make it obvious I was staring (drooling), I tripped. I almost landed on my face. Wonderful way to get some one's attention! Luckily from being in track, I was able to stay on my feet, but in a very awkward fashion. I ended up running to the exit, only looking back fleetingly to make sure he stayed put.

My face was ruby red and I could hardly spit out the words. I ended up just grabbing her by the arm and dragging her back outside.

He was gone. I frantically looked around and only met the quizzical looks of the bystanders nearby. I second-guessed myself. "Was it really him?" Why would he be there of all places? News spread of my "sighting" and at least my teachers could understand my obsessive admiration of the man. The rest of the day I kept my eyes pealed on every male who walked near me. I'll never know for sure if it was him. Probably not though. He does have a couple brothers. They may look very similar. This man, whoever he may have been, looked remarkably like Rickman. I still feel foolish for not at least speaking with him to alleviate all my doubts. So tomorrow I'm praying I don't freeze up like a deer or worst of all, suddenly wake up to find a medic asking me what's my name and how many fingers is he holding up. Someone please kill me quickly since for me, that kind of embarrassment would be a fate worse than death.

I really do not know how I am going to get through the next long, agonzing hours.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Xmas Cheer and Other Stuff.

Nope, not feeling it. I was absolutely appalled when I walked into my mall a couple weeks back. They already had everything set up for Christmas. Garland was hung from the railings and every pillar was adorned with lights. Thanksgiving hasn't even passed, folks! My hometown's downtown is already spruced up with lights and fake snow. The city where I currently live has decorated their main streets. My neighbors have decorated the walk ways with plastic candy canes and colored lights. Where I live, the lowest temperature so far has been 60 at night with above 72 during the days. For me, that's pretty cool, but for the rest of the country, it's raining, snowing, and just freezing. I think a lot of people have jumped the gun on Christmas. I've banned Christmas music from being played in my presence until December 1. I'd be so sick of it come the 25th (unless the music was like Korn's "Jingle Bells"). I have never cared for new Christmas movies which are only worthy of the Hallmark channel. I'm fine with watching Jimmy Stewart over and over again. At least he can act. I'm no scrooge, but even I didn't start doing stuff for Halloween until October 1st.

In other news....

I have not been able to get out to the cinema or even watch any new films because of the lack of time. I have had time to watch new shows like "Little Britain" and "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" in parts. I have a couple classes that are pointless that I've tried watching stuff in, but reading the dialogue is a little bit of a hassle when the people behind you start whispering, "Go back, I missed a line!" Plus, even reading the jokes in "Little Britain" has me biting my fist to keep from laughing. It really isn't good to be smiling in a Theory of Punishment class. With the long weekend ahead of us, I plan to relax and catch up. I still want to see "Quantam of Solace" some time. I like Craig's Bond.

Hm... what else? 10 days until I see Alan Rickman. I can't say anything more about that unless I make myself all giddy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight (No Spoilers)

First of all, I'm not a hardcore "Twilight" fan. I have read all the books. I understand the appeal. I lust after the actors; Peter Fascinelli's scenes are wonderful. I've gotten books signed by Stephanie Meyers, yada, yada.

I liked the movie. It wasn't the major failure it could have been. I did have some problems with the story progression. Pattinson is beautiful but some of his acting is still wooden. I wished they included more of the minor characters. There wasn't just that "wow" factor to it though. Since they are often incorrectly compared (but I'll do it anyway), at least every time I've seen a Harry Potter film, I can walk out with one aspect that totally awed me. [Disclaimer: I am a die hard Potter fan and always will choose the boy wiz over the pretty boy "vamp."] There was always an epic feeling to Potter. "Twilight" didn't cut it.

It was fun to see. I was actually more in awe of the theater (I'm a nerd like that) we were in since it held a bar and lounge, extremely comfortable leather recliners, and not expensive at all for what you got. Any theater that let's me sip a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in the theater instead of some designated area is one I'll be visiting again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please Excuse this Moment of a frantic Fangirl.


I'm shaking. I'm lightheaded. I can't concentrate on anything for the moment (and well, the past twenty minutes). Rickman has been my first fangirl crush for so long. I've never met him nor had the chance to see him. Now, I find out he's in LA and I have a ticket for the event.

Wow. So this is what it feels like to be a barely breathing, overly excited fangirl.

Is it fate that after posting my last entry I get an email a couple days later? I don't know how I'm going to react when he first walks onto that small stage. Thank God the room it's in isn't large at all. I'll be 20 feet away from him at most if they seat me in the back (which heaven help that person). I'll be running to the back entrance.

I'm blushing already! Just thinking about it has me all "doe eyed" and stupid. Ah! I've made fun of people who are in such a state as this, but now that I'm in it, I can fully appreciate what they went through. It's a rush.

I feel like I'm dreaming and cannot wake up. The next couple weeks are going to be tortuous in the extreme. Oh Lord help me.

Now back to our regular programming. Maybe.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My Guys...

When I fall for an actor, I fall hard. Immediately (but always within my modest budget), I compile all the works he's ever done, read past interviews, watch every interview and clips on youtube. Usually I look online if I can find the movies or shows posted and then spend cash to watch the stuff I can't find. The actor of the moment could be in the most outrageous movie and I'll go see it. I went and saw "Galaxy Quest" just for the sole reason of Alan Rickman. I drive my friends crazy with talk of that one person, but especially my Mum who lovingly puts up with it on the weekends when I visit. Let's start with Mr. Rickman.

Alan Rickman was the first actor who if I saw him walking down the street or sitting on a park bench (inside joke), I'd hyperventilate. The first movie I ever saw him in was "Die Hard." It's my favorite Christmas movie. It's my favorite movie overall. I remember laying down on our carpet, my wrists holding up my head, watching this truly sophisticated, villain, outsmart every person in the building, even the hero until practically the end of the film. Again, it was the voice. When I found out about filmographies and other stuff like that, I was already half way to the store looking for his other movies. I scanned the t.v. guides and taped any movie that was on too late or too early. When he was cast as my favorite Potter character, I knew it was fate. As of now I have seen every movie except Dark Harbor. That one has eluded me. I anxiously await his other films, including his role in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" as the Caterpillar. I don't think he gets enough recognition in the world of films. He does have large fan base though. I'll still be the lone figure at the cinema, blushing whenever he speaks and having the people in the theater wondering why in hell am I fidgeting so much.

I didn't even know what the second guy looked like until years after I first heard his voice. When we went camping, my parents would have a ton of tapes that my brother and I could enjoy and fall asleep to. I can remember listening to ballads sung by Luis Miguel and waking up to Freddie Fender. Queen was always high on our list since my parents would sing along with us. Yes, we are a sappy wannabe Partrich family. There was one precious tape that beat every other out of the water. Andrew Lloyd Weber's "Phantom of the Opera" was our first choice. We drove our parents nuts with it. We made them buy a second tape when we overplayed and broke the first. They had seen the original performances of Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman in LA and had bought the highlights tape (since CDs weren't even common or made yet). I had looked through their playbill mesmerized by the costumes and darkness of the stage. I didn't even know the story but had a faint grasp of it through the lyrics. Michael Crawford's voice lulled me to sleep or had my heart racing as the music rose and sped through a crescendo of violence and misery. Thinking on it now, I realize I've always been a creepy kid. Now, I'm just an adult with morbid tastes and humor. Like I mentioned earlier, I had never seen his real face. All the photos I had seen were of him in full, disfiguring makeup, wearing a black tux and cape. It was only when I was off of middle school, sick as a dog, that I saw him on television. I was curled on the couch watching "Hello Dolly!" dozing through the long dance sequences and wishing to God there was something else on, when I heard something familiar. This skinny white guy was trying to pull a Yonkers accent but his British one was too strong. All the vowels were still too strongly sung. It bugged me throughout the whole movie. When the credits rolled I couldn't believe it. This young guy became one of the most successful men of the stage? Nevertheless, when they used the songs in "Wall E" I was more excited than the kids in the theater. This was love at first note.

The eyes were the attraction for the next man. They were blank and desolate. He had "goat's eyes," a term used for sociopaths, implying they had no soul. Anthony Hopkins scared me. It took me a year to watch "Silence of the Lambs" in its entirety. Jonathan Demme's awesome viewpoints in the film helped fill the film with the horror mood. The closeup on Hopkin's eyes in his prison cells made me cringe away from the screen. I was afraid he'd bite me if I risked being any closer. Well, like the pattern goes, I watch and read everything he's in. I'm looking for a rare tape that has a conversation between Laurence Olivier, Peter O'Toole, and, I believe, Richard Harris. The only thing is none of them are really there. Hopkins taped himself impersonating their voices. This is usually a "black market" item because it has never been released to the public. I wish he would do more voice work in his films. Anyway, him being in "The Wolfman" is going to be awesome!

So I have autographs, photos, posters, hundreds of DVDs in my room and apartment all dedicated to the men in my life. David Selby and David Duchovny share the same wall space. Rickman and Crawford have their own spaces since I have framed photos and letters. (Crawford personalizes everything and is a fangirl's dream when answering questions.) Anthony Head has caught my eye and ears for now after seeing "Repo!" I've watched two seasons of "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" (which is more about demons than vampires, but still has me interested) and am looking for links to "Little Britain." "Macbeth" looks like it will take forever and a day to get a release date in the States.

I really think I have OCD. But is it really a problem when I enjoy it so much?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Fall

Absolutely, visually stunning. Breathtaking. A surreal dream and nightmare.

Those were the first thoughts I had as I watched the ending credits role for The Fall. I have not seen a film shot so beautifully. It is a testament that a movie can be made brilliantly without the use of CG. The story is captivating and enchanting. I sat staring at the t.v. screen in awe. I didn't even look up to see who had entered the room when I heard footsteps. Tarsem, the director, hasn't done much ("The Cell" is the only film I've seen and he doesn't have anything else listed on his IMDB page) but I know he'll produce something that'll be just as great if not better than this movie. That is already a tough job to make something better. I'm really surprised this movie hasn't gotten more attention. I definitely know that it hit all the independent theaters and festivals. My brother who works at one of those theaters "one upped" me when I asked him if he's seen the film. He's seen it and met Tarsem during a Q and A they held. Damn it. I should have gone to one of the LA screenings.

"Assassin, Murderer, Monster"

It's been two days since I've seen "Repo! The Genetic Opera" and I like it even more today than yesterday. There has not been a movie that has stayed with me in a long time. I've been trying to get other friends to go see it (with the added benefit of myself seeing it again). My review yesterday showed my lack of sleep so it wasn't as passionate as I would have wanted it to be.

I didn't focus on the music so much yesterday, but after really listening to the soundtrack all day after I got off work... wow. Normally I don't even care for rock opera. It would be too distorted to my ears and the voices don't normally go along with the music. I shudder to think what Luciano Pavarotti would sound like with an electric guitar blaring in the background. Sarah Brightman's bell-like soprano with Terrance Zdunich's clear, low voice, along with Anthony Head's powerful one, just all came together and carried the whole movie.

Zdunich's ability to go very low, sometimes even whispering lines, and then suddenly belting out a half growl, made all his songs memorable. As the narrator he knew everything happening and gladly added to the irony of the situations. His sarcastic nature and scorn for the society improved on the story.

Brightman has always been a favorite when she sings within in her range. Yeah, I have to admit I'm a purist Phantom fan which means I probably will not willingly buy an album of Lloyd Weber's musical, Phantom of the Opera, if her and Michael Crawford are not present. That's just me. I've seen the show in Los Angeles and London. It hasn't been the same. She's released other albums where she has tried to lower her range to "normal" singer (ie. singing songs like "Wonderful World," etc). Her voice is too powerful for stuff like that. Did you know that most actresses now who play the role of Christine in "Phantom" cannot reach the same hieght during the aria of the song "Phantom of the Opera?" The song is actually changed subtely to make up for the lost beats. Most people don't even notice. Anyway, in "Repo!" her arias are heard throughout the whole thing! Even in the song "Chase the Morning," Brightman only lowers her register a bit. She dominates the song. Poor Alexa Vega. My confidence would have dived straight down to the negatives.

Tony Head. I walked out of that cold, dark theater with a new voice crush. I don't care what the hell he looks like or how old he is, I could listen to him talk or sing for hours. I loved the way he changed his voice when he was singing as Nathan and Repo Man. Nathan's voice was clear and soft. Once he put on the leather, his voice became much rougher, but a little high. I love how the emotion soakes through, especially at the end. I never watched "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" so I didn't know he could sing. I did order the whole series the other day since the only time I have watched it was at my friend's bachelor pad.

Again, if you haven't seen the movie, if you're able to, GO! It really is worth it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Repo! The Genetic Opera: The Rocky Horror of Our Times?

It's the morning after and I still have lyrics running through my head. I know I said I'd see this movie this past weekend, but things pop up as usual so I had to delay my visit. I have never cared about driving long distances or times (usually an hour or so depending on traffic) so with all my classes not in session, last night was perfect. [I'm not one to stay in. Open nights are too tempting.]

I knew my friend and I were in for something when we saw people dressed up in line, waiting to get their tickets. We got ours and went to get our seats. We had a pretty modest crowd that made me immediately think we were going to have a good time regardless if the movie sucked. They previewed the trailer for a Ralph Fiennes movie and we got a couple laughs when my friend stage whispered, "Voldemort!"

The screen went black for about ten seconds and you could feel that the audience was holding it's breath. Everyone in that room had probably heard all the raving reviews and commentary. Before I go on, there will be MAJOR spoilers in this review. The movie isn't showing widely and the DVD will probably be out soon so I'm not too worried about people getting pissed off at me. You have been warned.

The film starts with the prologue. An epidemic of organ failures occurs. No one knows why or has a cure. The only option is to transplant new ones into the patients. A new company appears, GeneCo, which offers organs on lease if you can't afford the operation. No one reads the fine print. A proposition passes which suddenly makes organ repossessions legal and in comes the Repo Man. He stalks the people if they run and try to hide. He kills them quickly and just burrows into their bodies, even when they aren't quite dead yet, and takes what organ he was assigned to repossess. Legal assassinations. Like a good Repo Man, he takes his catch and puts it on ice. All of this is shown in an excellent comic book sequence. Our main character appears, Alexa Vega as Shilo, and the story runs full speed ahead. Shilo is 17 years old with a rare blood disease, supposedly inherited by her mother who died at child birth.

Vega is good in her role, but she's not a singer. She projects all the innocence and nativity the role demands. I didn't like her in the rebellious scenes. "Seventeen" had me thinking, "What the fuck?" We then get introduced to her father, Nathan Wallace, aka The Repo Man. Anthony Head (Giles of Buffy the Vampire fame) is perfect. No one took their eyes off of him when he was on screen. After Terrance Zdunich and Sarah Brightman, vocally, he was awesome. Shilo in the first sequences wonders off into a graveyard and meets our narrator, the drug dealing Grave robber, played by Terrance Zdunich. He steals a very addictive painkiller called zydrate from the bodies of former "knife addicts." Shilo watches in disgust as he pulls bodies out of tombs and inserts needles into the noses. Signs are posted all around decreeing that grave robbers will be shot on sight. He purposely gets them caught but he flees into a storage facility with nothing but bodies. Shilo is captured but her father shows up in full Repo Man gear and the guards back off. Shilo was going into shock from not having her medication so she doesn't fully remember the incident. It's only at the end when she finds out her father is the infamous Repo Man.

I loved how every character was connected to one person, Marni Wallace, Shilo's dead mother. The audience only finds this out in pieces though. Every character is connected through their associations with this mysterious woman. She's only shown through the interweaving comics and flashbacks. I'll bungle the story is I go into it anymore, plus it'll add about five or six more paragraphs.

If you're in an area where they are showing it, I highly recommend seeing it. Black humor and irony are at its best. This movie will stick with you; I'm still humming it and thinking over my favorite scenes.

Check out the trailer HERE and a clip from one of the songs...

Monday, November 10, 2008

OH Crap...

Well, I was reading another review for a movie when I stumbled randomly on this tidbit of information:

JJ Abrams has permission to film The Dark Tower series...

The Dark Tower series is possibly my second favorite set of books by Stephen King; The Stand being his magnus opus. I absolutely loved how King incorporates other characters from his other books such as the doomed Father Callahan from Salem's Lot, lost forever in limbo (or hell). King has big ones for incorporating himself into the story, going so far as to kill himself off and then re-creating the real life accident that almost killed him (years ago he was hit by a car while jogging). The whole series was just one great journey, essentially a spaghetti western with sci-fi and horror in abundance. A reader never knew what was going to happen when Roland, the main character, reached that Tower and fulfilled his destiny. I finished the seventh and last book in one night. I was so hyped to see what would happen and how it would end... I was blown away the next day with shock and in hindsight, thought "I should have known." I'm not going to spoil it, so if you haven't read the series, please do. Be prepared for buying all the connected stories, too, since they hook you in.

I really don't like Abrams. "Star Trek" is in my iffy list of upcoming movies to see. My main reason is the decision to cast Chris Pine as Kirk. That guy cannot act. Everything is so forced. He tries too hard. Pine and Abrams will probably kill the franchise. I haven't seen "Cloverfield" and I will never see it because of the way it was shot. I enjoy not being motion sick during my films, thanks. As for LOST... I tried watching the first six episodes. You know I love stuff that makes you think, but LOST just doesn't make any sense! Irrational would be putting it way too mildly. It's just all drama and not the good kind. It reminds me of the high school shit with no point. It drags on and on with no resolution. Boring.

I hope Abrams is smart and only produces this project. They need a director with a very visually creative mind and who will stay away from CG. I can already picture the stupid studio requesting everything be in CG. CG will kill the series. The whole story is already beyond reality and adding more fakness to it will be the last nail in the coffin. It'll be too "out there" for a large audience.

In all honestly, I hope the films are never made. Go read instead, people.

Friday, November 7, 2008

REPO! Opens Today?!

So I've heard nothing but good things about this movie ("Repo! The Genetic Opera!" for all of you slackers) and have been dying to see it. BC from "Horror Movie a Day" just posted a blog about it being out in theaters. I checked the main site's calander of events and lo and behold it's playing at the Pasadena Playhouse 7! YES! I will have to take a detour tonight or Sunday to go see this thing. It's been months since I first heard about this film.

The only good movie out in theaters that I've seen was "Zack and Miri Make a Porno." It was pretty funny and had me grossed out at a very unexpected scene... The last good movie before that was "Let the Right One In" at the LA Film Fest back in July, I think.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Most Intolerant People I have ever met...

... are the ones preaching tolerance.

You guys know how I voted. I'm pretty moderate but lean right (Disclaimer: I am a proud Roman Catholic, gun owner, soon to be in a law enforcement career, soon to have a BA in Criminology and Law, etc.). I did give my vote for Prop 8 to my friends even though after reading the proposition, I knew this was poorly written and would lead to a whole shit load of problems in future.

Did people stop to think or wonder what no definition of marriage would really be like? Most people think it is equality for everyone... Well, everyone and everything is included when you think of it from a purely legal and sterile perspective. Judges will have no legal standing to decide whether a "marriage" is legal or not... including that of arranged marriages, marriages between minors, marriages between people and pets. Seriously, I am not trying to be funny or equate gay unions to something equivalant to beastiality. Far from it. (And anyone who dares call me a hatemonger will just have to look at my friends and the company I keep to know how wrong their words are.) There are sick people out there who really would start a case based on sick shit like this; and they'd win!

The proposition really should have had a definition something akin to "Unions between consenting persons, regardless of sexual orientation and gender, accepted by the State of CA." Something that is clear cut and leaves out the crazies while making it clear that it is a State function instead of a religious one. And don't start bitching at me for using the word "union." Straight people who had civil unions are in marriages! People don't say, "Hi, we were just unionized." They say, after they walk out of city hall, "We just got married." It's the same deal, folks. I thought actions were louder than words...

People can spout off that the word "marriage" is neutral all they want, but 99% of people will equate it with religion. It's just the natural conotation. "Marriage" has been thought of as a religious sacrament whether you're Christian, Jewish, Islamic, whatever, for thousands of years. Plus, the threat that churches, mosques, and synagogues could be sued for not administering same-sex marriages was a bad part on the No on 8 people. Never should have brought those into play. The saying is "God and Country," not "Country and God." People's personal and private beliefs will trump any state thing as we just saw.

Hey, and there's hope out there. Four years ago, the vote was over 60% against same-sex unions. This morning it was 52. Get a good legal writer in there, take out all the religious conotations, keep it a state function with no threats to religious freedom or institutions, and you'll win! Fair and Square! I would love to see some of my friends walk down that isle and marry their partners. Their relationships are even more strong then some hetero ones I know.

So please, before you start saying "haters!" "bigots!" and shit like that, stop and think about being open minded. Doesn't it mean being open to all things and respectful of another's opinion? I thought closed minded people were the ones who didn't look at all the perspectives... Just the phrase "I will never know how you can think like that" is closed minded and you basically outed yourself and shown your ignorance. Knowing both perspectives helps greatly.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

50 Movie Packs...

I actually want to "talk" about a really good deal/item that I think people who love horror movies should look into getting, especially if you want to expand your palate. I saw someone on another blog post a comment about it and then on Halloween I spoke with a friend who loved it, too. I'm going on about the "50 Movie Packs" that have been popping up in my Best Buy or DVD Planet, wherever I got mine from (seen it at both places). I was browsing for new movies when the Horror one caught my eye.

Here is the list of the films that it includes:

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde starring John Barrymore
Blue Beard starring John Carradine
The Corpse Vanishes starring Bela Lugosi
Night of the Living Dead starring Judith O'Dea
Doomed to Die starring Boris Karloff
The Phantom of the Opera starring Lon Chaney, Sr.
The Indestructible Man starring Lon Chaney, Jr.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame Lon Chaney, Sr.
Nosferatu starring Max Schreck
Swamp Women starring Mike Connors
The World Gone Mad starring Pat O'Brien
The Little Shop of Horrors starring Jack Nicholson
Tormented starring Richard Carlson
The Monster Walks starring Rex Lease
Monster from a Prehistoric Planet starring Tamio Kawaji
The Gorilla starring The Ritz Brothers
A Shriek in the Night starring Ginger Rogers
Bloodlust starring Robert Reed
The Amazing Mr. X starring Turhan Bay
Last Woman on Earth starring Robert Towne
The Bat starring Vincent Price
The House on Haunted Hill starring Vincent Price
The Last Man on Earth starring Vincent Price
Dementia 13 starring William Campbell
Phantom from 10,000 Leagues starring Kent Taylor
Carnival of Souls starring Candace Hilligoss
Atom Age Vampire starring Alberto Lupo
Creature from the Haunted Sea starring Robert Towne
Nightmare Castle starring Barbara Steele
Black Dragons starring Bela Lugosi
Invisible Ghost starring Bela Lugosi
One Body Too Many starring Bela Lugosi
White Zombie starring Bela Lugosi
Attack of the Giant Leeches starring Ken Clark
The Screaming Skull starring John Hudson
Beast of Yucca Flats starring Tor Johnson
The Terror starring Boris Karloff
Revolt of the Zombies starring Dean Jagger
The Giant Gilla Monster starring Don Sullivan
The Fatal Hour starring Boris Karloff
Dead Men Walk starring George Zucco
The Mad Monster starring George Zucco
Maniac starring Bill Woods
Metropolis starring Gustav Frolich
The Vampi

Really, if you were to buy all of this separately, it would kill your wallet and send it to hell. I've seen some of these movies solo for more than what this pack is worth! Ok, I will fess up and say that the transfer quality is lacking and some of the sound is awful, but if you don't care if the movie is in HD or 5.1 surround sound (or whatever), then this is for you.

This is a good start for a person starting out their horror journey. You have a lot of classics mixed with the random and bizarre. My favorite films on here have to be "Nosferatu," "Phantom of the Opera," and "The Last Man on Earth." I wish they included more of Karloff's movies but I know it's because those sell very well separately. "Carnival of Souls" will creep you out. "Atom Age Vampire" will make you laugh. "Metropolis" is a good study in special effects, plus I know every film student has to watch this at least at one time or another. I haven't watched all of these yet, but I'm working on it.

Anyway, anyone know when/if Lon Chaney's "Wolfman" will be out on DVD? I heard that there has been trouble getting the rights and bargaining with his family... It's a shame it has not be released.

Monday, November 3, 2008

"Trick R Treat" Book Review

I finally realized that if I can't see the film, I'll read the book (though why I didn't think of this first amazes me). Here's my thoughts.

1) Warner Bros. are idiots for not releasing this film.
2) Michael Dougherty is a man after my own heart.
3) All that is Halloween is represented by the stories interwoven in the movie.

Really, I loved everything. I did cheat and head straight to the stories and then read about the production, but can you blame me? Nothing is what it seems in the stories. The black humor comes out in waves and then lets terror wash over once you realize what you're laughing at. After reading it last night, I truly know that I missed out when the movie screened at ScreamFest and then again by AINC. This would have been the perfect movie for the holiday.

I absolutely hate how studios feel they have an obligation to "protect" the public. I can tell you after reading the stories, I knew more to why the studios didn't release it. Killing kids and stories about tainted candy are horrifying, but it's a movie! Worse is happening all around the world! Where they afraid of some crazy turning into a copycat by poisoning candy or sinister bus drivers thinking of driving a group of kids off a cliff? Believe me, not even 80% of Americans are that creative. There is a simple solution for the studios to remedy their fears: place a warning before the movie and let the audience have a minute to decide whether to walk away or stay at their own moral peril. No one twisted their arm to be there. Now WB has no excuse not to release this film.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You Can't Kill The Boogeyman...

Halloween. Wow. First off, random dance parties that involve nothing but good tunes and strobe lights with people you love are the best. Waking up early after said parties is something that only crazy people do (especially when the party started at midnight...).

Anyway, I went on the bus tour for Halloween's 30th anniversary. It does not seem like the movie is 30 years old. It is still the essential horror movie. After much needed coffee my friend and I headed over to the convention. The tour was great and it felt so awesome to just stand out in front of the house. I shivered when I first laid eyes on the Myers House. We were not allowed to go onto the porch because it is now a private business. The owners painted it blue with pinkish trim. I would have left it white. The owners did not even put any decorations. Didn't they know whose house they owned?! I would have decked that place out with all manners of horrors along with my own Michael walking around, going from window to window, and occasionally walking out onto the porch. Blood would have been everywhere. Yes, they sucked. We were allowed to take photos. Brian Andrews, actor who played little Tommy Doyle, was walking around, happy to pose with fans. My friend has that photo on her camera so I might post it here if I get it soon.

We walked around South Pasadena for what seemed like hours and saw the other filming locations and headed to the schools where they filmed. At the end of the tour we were in Sierra Madre where they filmed the cemetery scene with Dr. Loomis and then some shots from III and IV. We went to the church where "The Fog" was filmed, but at that time, I was dying. A salad and large margarita set me to rights but then we ran out of time to see the Doyle house and also the "Nightmare on Elm Street" house in Hollywood. Photos of our adventure can be seen HERE.

We never made it out to the New Bev because our tour ended at 6 and we were dead tired. Traffic would have been horrendous, too. I was running on two hours of sleep and crashing fast. We did sleep for 3 hours and tried to decide where to go when we woke up. I could have really slept the rest of the night, which after driving back to my house, I did. I'm still beat from the mixture of midterms, papers, parties, and reponsibilities in between so I'm apologize that I'm not more detailed here. I just really wanted to get something out before I forget. More to come soon.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

And In Other News...

I cannot concentrate worth a damn at the moment. I have a midterm paper that is due at 5 o'clock this afternoon but I can't seem to finish the second part. I have plenty of time since the first part didn't take me more than an hour to do, but I just really hate procrastinating. The thought of being in "Haddonfield" tomorrow has me excited and apprehensive. I'm stoked to be going to the New Bev tomorrow to kick off Halloween with Edgar Wright (unless one of my friends throws a party...). He's always a good guy to listen to and always has good presentations. "Shaun of the Dead" is going to be a riot with the kind of crowds the New Bev brings in. I can't wait to see the original cut of his trailer, "Don't!" that was shown before Taratino's "Death Proof." I freaked in the theater when I saw it when "Grindhouse" opened. Jason Isaac's cameo was the best. I haven't seen "Riki: The Story of Rick Oh" so I'm looking forward to that.

This might seem weird, but I'm sad Halloween is tomorrow. All the time leading up to it, has been wonderful and the thought that it'll be over at midnight tomorrow is depressing. Another 365 days in which to wait again. Another 365 days of sorting through movies to find the diamond in the rough. The only thing that gives me a glimpse of hope is the "maybe" release of "Trick 'r' Treat" sometime next year. I'm still sore about not getting to see it. I guess I'll have to keep Halloween in my heart and be satisfied with that till next year.

Photos of the Myers house should be up Saturday afternoon or whenever I decide to rejoin the real world.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rob Zombie's Halloween-Review

I started watching Rob Zombie's "Halloween" during class but then decided against it because the people behind me where already watching over my shoulder (giving me pointers on solitaire [they thought I was playing freecell]) and because the movie starts off extremely crude and violent in true Zombie fashion. It actually levels off though. I thought the movie was going to be more violent and stomach lurching, but it wasn't. Argento's "Third Mother" is much more violent and graphic than "Halloween 2007." I loved it though. It kept with the spirit that is "Halloween" and added a whole other layer of intrigue and humanity into the characters. I was almost heartbroken at the end in a really odd way.

I've noticed Rob Zombie has really creative ways into how he develops his characters. He uses different devices and characters to help others grow instead of it just being one whole gore fest. For this film, he wanted everyone to feel that it was real. There wasn't that much blood or feats of superhuman strength. The supernatural was kept at bay, but still there in essence. He achieved his goal.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love the original better still. The original was much scarier. Not knowing why a person is after you, is frightening. There were more suspenseful moments and eerie scenes. I will never forget the "doorway" scene and the scene where Michael sits up with Laurie Strode unsuspecting. That has been ingrained already. When John Carpenter was involved, the series was golden.

As a criminologist-in-training, I was really surprised at the beginning. Instead of going for the whole, "he's just evil and let's leave it at that" kind of stuff, Zombie brings in Dr. Loomis immediately. You see all the elements that dragged Michael into madness. (Killing small animals at a young age is a warning sign of psychopathy in real life including fire starting and bedwetting.) One of the deleted scenes has Dr. Loomis speaking about "nature v. nurture" theories. It's interesting stuff. To me though, it humanized Michael too much. People don't scare me; Monsters do. I felt pity for the big guy instead of being horrified.

Tyler Mane was great as the adult Myers. Zombie wanted someone who was extremely large and who had screen presence. He definitely choose the right person. At 6'10" Mane is the tallest Michael to date. When he's in the jump suit though, he's proportional. He doesn't look bulky or way too muscled. He didn't change like Jason Voorhees who went from a regular man into this WWF (or whatever it's called now a days) wrestler with beyond superhuman strength.

Other cast members that I loved seeing was Udo Kier, Clint Howard, and Brad Dourif. Malcom McDowell gets an honorable mention because he was almost as brilliant as Donald Pleasence. I wished they had released an extended version of the film with all the deleted scenes. Some were really good. They cut the "Death has come to your little town, Sheriff" scene! That's the line of the franchise! Oh well, I can't complain, too much...

The alternate ending was better, but I understand why they went with the one they did. The alternate was way too emotional. I'm a closet romantic so I wanted him to have a good ending. If you haven't seen it, I won't give it away, but let's just say you'll be rooting for Michael instead of the cops. The original ended violently and abruptly. I liked it, too. It makes you wonder if the whole Myers clan is as fucked up as everyone thinks they are.

Rumors are flying that Zombie is working on a "Halloween 2" and "3." I think he could keep up the good work and do the franchise justice.

Monday, October 27, 2008


If you subscribe or read Entertainment Weekly, he writes some of the movie reviews. I don't recommend reading his columns either.

Mr. OG,

Please tell me you are not serious about the recent review of "Let the Right One In." Are you so thick headed and dull that you can't catch the subtle inferences? Can you not add 1 and 1 together to make 2? It's a vampire movie, first off. That should help you and explain away a couple of complaints you had. The older man in the film was not Eli's real father of course. He was a mortal man who traveled with her. The reason why he was going off to kill people in the woods? As Eli's keeper, he drains people for her! That would be why he hangs the people upside down and puts buckets underneath them to collect the blood. Oh! That's clever! And why is Oskar so lonely and infatuated with violence? Let's see... Could it be that he is the outcast who is constantly bullied? Couldn't be, could it? And not to mention his father is mostly out of the picture... Hm... what else? The title of the movie you ask? Oh for the love of... Do you not have an inkling of vampire lore and legend?! Any kid who has seen Looney Tunes' Halloween specials can tell you that! You have to invite a vampire into any private home. They can enter against your will but if they do, they're powerless and usually have their blood start pouring out of every orifice. Not a pretty thing to gaze upon as I'm sure you'll agree if you remember that scene from the movie (if you watched it at all).

It's people like you, sir, who are the travesties of Hollywood and contribute to the "dumbing" down of films. When an intelligent film comes along and makes you think, you pass it off as "confusing." If the film is subtitled, it is presumed not worth the time and effort. No wonder common sense is not so common. Your review makes you out to be a xenophobe and a very incompetent writer. At the very least, if you do not know the core subject of a film, the prime example being vampires, do a little research before seeing it. It will help.


5 Days...

I am so excited at the moment. For a horror movie lover like myself, Halloween is the ultimate day. It's the Superbowl equivalent. I have already gotten in really good scares along with being scared to death. My Dad owns a Michael Myers mask so I've been frightened a couple times already. After I did my make-up (see profile photo), I went down and scared my Mum. I had yellow contacts on with my fangs, too.

Now, I've been trying to watch a movie a day or at least get in some horror documentaries just to brush up on my horror smarts. This weekend I thought I was going to have a whole day to just take in all the blood, gore, suspense, and over-kill violence; however, stuff comes up and I'm busy until I'm back at my own place. I did watch two movies.

"Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" was ok, but the change in Myers's mask had me annoyed mostly the whole time. The movie poster is misleading since it has the original Myers in the photo. Danielle Harris plays Jamie, Michael's niece and new victim since Jamie Lee Curtis's character supposedly died in a car crash. We all know this isn't true since they created 7 and 8. The one who again does an excellent role in this franchise is Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis, Michael's Nemesis. I can't wait to see the rest of the series to see how his character develops.

The second movie I watched was "Freddy vs. Jason." I have to say this was extremely entertaining and had me laughing at all the dark humor spread across from it. I only jumped once throughout the whole film. Robert Englund reprises his role as Freddy Kruger, the right-knife-handed, burned, child murderer. I really love how the writer included an overview of Freddy's life when he was still alive at the beginning of the movie. I think this is the first time Englund appears as Kruger without the burns and pounds of prosthetics. He's just sick. The premise of the movie is that Elm Street has forgotten about Freddy. Freddy is trapped in Hell and looking for a way out. He finds Jason slumbering and uses him to travel to Elm Street so Jason could kill a couple of the locals in a kind of Freddy fashion. Of course, one of the kids starts to remember Freddy and then dooms the rest of them. It all leads to a huge show down at Camp Crystal Lake (Jason's home field advantage) with Freddy being brought over to the real world. I won't say who "won" the fight, but it is a bit a fluffy moment. The most ridiculous thing in the movie that had me questioning my sanity is when the typical token stoner is smoking a bunt and sees Freddy's worm version enter the room. Freddy pulls out a bong and lights up with the kid before leaving the room. What? Why did that have to be in there? Beats me.

Anyway, I got a couple new movies to get through before Halloween. My DVDs of the last Halloween movies haven't come in yet so I'm hoping they're in by Wednesday... I will be watching "Salem's Lot (1979)," "John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns," "Stuart Gordon's Dreams in the Witch House," and "Frankenstein (1931)."

Friday, October 24, 2008

"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

"Poison, Drowning, Claw or Knife...
So Many Ways to Take a Life."

News Flash! Warner Bros. screws up again! Last night the lovely Tasha and I myself were jibbed out of a very good movie, but that didn't really ruin our night. "Trick 'r' Treat" was screening at the Grauman's Chinese Theater (I'm becoming quiet accustomed to that one) but I wasn't able to get on the guest list. [And before anyone starts telling me I spelled "or" wrong, it's supposed to be spelled that way.] Thousands of people showed up supposedly. Well, the problem with the WB is that they are not going to release this film nationwide. They are sending it straight to DVD. I have no clue why when this is the season to be putting these kinds of films on the silver screen! Normally I don't take reviews seriously because I like to judge for myself, but from the clips and trailer of this movie, I think it is perfect for Halloween! Just the trailer alone had me sold on seeing this film anyway I could. I'm really hoping that they at least do a limited release. That would satisfy me.

The film has a strong cast and great stories. Everyone needs a little reminding of what Halloween is about and how it started, every now and then. It appeals to me because it just has classic written all over it. "Sam," the main character pictured above, is going to give me nightmares for sure. Little kids in burlap masks are just plain horrifying.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dracula (1931)

"To truly die... That must be glorious!" The Count.

Last night my class was more than unbearable. The professor made so many tangents and reviewed topics we've already covered, more than three times... I thought I was going to perish in my seat from shear annoyance. I was sorely tempted to leave at break and make my evening a little more productive; however, attendance is mandatory and I didn't want to have any points taken off my grade. Luckily, I prepared for such a case in advance. At the break I slipped in my DVD of "Dracula" staring Bela Lugosi, clicked on the subtitles, and was alright for the rest of the class. The trick is to look up at the professor from time to time and nod or look slightly curious (too much curiosity and the professor will wonder if you're sick or call on you to ask if you have a problem).

The movie was an excellent pick on my part, if I may say so. Every time Lugosi is on screen, your eyes have to follow him. He radiates seduction and danger. He steals this movie from every actor in it. I think Tod Browning, the director, was also a genius for not showing fangs and bites. Throughout the whole movie you never see anyone actually bitten nor do you see bite marks. I know it wasn't his full intention since it was the 1930s and such things were not seen on screen, but the sexual tension is there in full force! I had to look away from my laptop screen a couple times or I would have blushed in class! The way the actors moved and interacted with each other was stunning. Lugosi could just stand in the forest with his silk cloak over one shoulder and look positively confident and virile.

The movies tries desperately to hold onto the original story but it doesn't quiet make it. It's close but no cigar. If "Dracula" were made according to Bram Stoker's novel, he'd look more like Max Schreck's character from "Nosferatu." There would be no Transylvanian prince.

After I finished watching the film at my apartment, I thought of how sad Bela Lugosi's life was afterwards. He didn't go into obscurity right away. He did land other roles as great villains, but people always cast him in the hopes of seeing Dracula. It was a travesty. He died a drug addict (painkillers) with no money in 1956. Frank Sinatra actually quietly paid for his funeral. Lugosi was buried wearing coat and tails, along with the same silk cloak he wore in Dracula. Vincent Price actually recalls Peter Lorre turning to him at the funeral and saying, "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?" This statement shows how prolific Dracula was on Lugosi and even after being dead for more than 30 years, is still immortal in cinema.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"This is only a dream!" Nightmare on Elm Street Review

Sure! It's all in your head, but like Dumbledore said, even if its in your head, does that make it less real?

I can't believe I've been afraid of "Nightmare on Elm Street" for years! I had made my excuses and only watched certain scenes trying to get at least the gist of the film. I did have really bad nightmares when I was little so just the thought of this movie made me weary [that was my own doing since I was reading any kind of horror novel I could get my little hands on]. For 1984, the graphics were excellent (well, except for the extended hand/arm scene, but I forgive that).

The first scenes are perfect and set off the confusion on whether people are dreaming or if they were still awake. The use of an old boiler room was an excellent plot device. That actual place was in the jails in North Hollywood so maybe someday I'll be able to walk down there... The actors were all pretty good except for the guy who played the trademarked "bad boy." He annoyed me throughout the film and I wasn't sad to see him go. Johnny Depp has his first role here and I must say that you could see that spark that he has. The shot of his character death was intense. I'm thinking they had to use some upside down sets in order to make the blood flow across the "ceiling" like that. It was great effect.

Now, I've always loved Robert Englund in his other films. He's just creepy. People would wonder how I would know those films, but not these. I like how Wes Craven, the director, chose to have Freddy be almost mute like the likes of Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees. In the sequels I understand he developes a sense of black humor so I can't wait to see them. I'm even thinking of skipping to "Freddy v. Jason" to see how a child murderer fights with a drowned guy in a hockey mask. Probably tonight I'll work on watching "Nightmare 2" or I'm thinking of "Dracula" with Bela Lugosi. I haven't seen the latter in a long time. Halloween is the best season for movies.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Good Luck.

So I'm posting this early since this is really good news for a certain acquaintance of ours who shall remain nameless. Let's call him C. C hates the internet with a passion since it does not allow him privacy so he has never had a myspace/facebook/any social networking thing or blog and has even barred me from posting photos of himself. Also, he believes it has contributed to the lowered intelligence of humanity, and in a sense he's right.

Anyway, since working for Sundance he's been introduced to numerous people and he's played his cards right. I don't like Sundance as a company myself but if it helps him, good. He's filming at the moment and only letting a little information leak every now and then through another source of mine. My source forgot the name of the movie, but when I hear back from him I'll post it.

He's aiming for a release in the 2010 Sundance Film Festival since the deadline for the 2009 one has already passed. Let's just hope this is his chance through the door and offer the support I'm sure he'll need.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


"There are two things a man always wants... danger and play. So what could be more dangerously playful... than a woman?"-The Villain, Byron Volpe.

Last night I went to the Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Traffic had been good so I was in a very good mood from the start. Tourists were milling around outside and taking photos. The usual costumed people were walking around in Halloween themed costumes. I had to crack up when a little person dressed as Chucky came and pretended to stab me when he noticed I hesitated in my walk towards him. He was pretty scary since I stood as tall as my waist.

I have never been inside the theater, but it was nice. I think I still like the set-up of the Arclight better though. In the middle of the lobby they had set up a table where fans were lined up and getting free movie posters. The cast was happily signing each one. I first recognized Dylan Purcell. He's a very young actor with a smile that can rival Efron's. He really was loving the fact so many people were in the lobby to see the movie. I glanced about, taking in everyone in the room. A recognized a man with very long white hair and a beard. He owns a bookstore in Burbank that I've been dying to go to, but haven't had to excuse to drive up to since it's a bit far. Dark Delicacies is a self-proclaimed vampire haven and welcomes all kinds of books about the occult. The owner was a very nice, older gentleman with a wicked sense of humor. I read about them in a "special" encyclopedia I own. I asked him to be sure this was the same man (I'm hardly wrong on faces though) and introduced myself as a future patron. He asked whether I had gotten a poster and autographs and personally came with me to the table. He was on first name bases with the cast and crew.

Dylan signed my poster first and handed it off to Jeffrey Combs. He's a legend in the horror movie genre because of one movie: Re-Animator. Then they handed it off to Patrick Kilpatrick who had just arrived. Now, I have to say Patrick was the nicest of the lot when you got over his physical presence. He's 6'2," very broad shouldered, and fit enough to be a pro-football player.
Now, for me, he was everything how a man should look like. He was also the only one who personalized the poster by asking for my name. Ha! I swear I didn't blush but held my head high and thanked him before moving onto the director. William Malone was in high demand with other writers and horror movie sites making videos. I recognized a couple of the Fangoria people since I've seen them before at the New Beverly. I was tempted to ask them why in holy Hell they didn't hire people who live in California? I bit my tongue and waited until the ushers announced our theater ready.

Patrick Kilpatrick

Right at 6:50pm, they started taking tickets and letting people slowly trickle in. I almost got to sit in VIP because my ticket was silver, but when asked if I was part of the cast, I didn't have the face or urge to "edit" my story. I sat with the plebeians which weren't many in number. It seemed like the cast wanted to get reactions directly from the audience. Purcell sat in the middle. Cherilyn Wilson sat directly across from me. Janet Keijer sat next to me. I recognized other people who wrote from different sites and newspaper. There actually weren't that many genuine curious people such as myself. Everyone seemed to know one another.

William Malone introduced the movie and warned that this was not a final cut.

"It's almost there, but we're still fixing some scenes." Then the movie started.

I really hope this movie finds a distributor because it is very good. The characters were real even though the story could not be possible in reality. Filpatrick's villain, Volpe, was evil. Volpe was a former bookstore owner who specialized in selling anitque and rare editions. He was also a mesmerist. His eyes were as black and cold as his soul. He reminded me of Hannibal Lecter but an even better manipulator since Volpe could force his victims to do anything he wanted. The main character though was Danny (Purcell) who was an art student helping out his friend in rehab. His friend tells him to check out the resident serial killer in the psyche ward and that gets the story running. He sees Volpe in his cell and notices the sleeping girl in the room next to it. The girl, Laura, has been asleep for most of her life. She had never been out of a hospital.

To not give anything else away, the film is full of action and suspense. The characters are real. The CGI is incorporated brilliantly. Laura's dreams are fascinating. The end fits just perfectly. I'd love to see what scenes they'll be incorporating into the final shots. I did see a bit of the rough scenes Malone was talking about.

Anyway, I really liked this film. I wish I got to see more of Kathryn Leigh Scott who played Laura's nurse, but seeing her in something new was a pleasure. Malone is looking for distributor's of the film so we may get to see a theaterical run of it. I surely hope so!

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Mother of Tears-Review (Not for the Squeemish)

Argento's movie, "The Third Mother" is just disturbing and a joy ride through Purgatory and the gates of Hell. Not my favorite of his, but this movie still hit the mark when it came to giallo.

Essentially the movie is about a museum curator assistant, played by Asia Argento (Dario's daughter), who opens a mysterious urn. You can probably guess this urn held the spirit of the Third Mother, the Mother of Tears. I love the shot. Asia's character goes into the other room while the curator is still in the room with the urn. Quickly, probably 2 seconds if that, you see a black figure with a greenish yellow eye. The whole room shakes and then three demons and a monkey (really creepy, seriously) descend upon the poor curator. Now this is the true start of the giallo. The demons disembowel her and choke the rest of the life out of her with her own intestines. A truly gruesome shot. Asia returns to the room but sees the demons and runs. The demons didn't see her but the monkey chases her through the corridors. That damn little monkey is really the scariest live creature in the film. It was brilliant! It was an even better actor than some of the humans in there. It just reeked of evilness with its facial expressions.
Anyway, the rest of the film is about Asia's character running from the witches from all around the world who are coming to see the Third Mother in Rome. With the arrival of the Third Mother, Rome is in a state of chaos. You hear a news anchor say there were over 50 suicides in the city. The next scene cuts to a mother walking with her baby in the stroller on a bridge. The mother picks up her baby and then flings it over. Before you register what you saw, it cuts again to a busy street with people beating each other and destroying cars. It cuts one more time with the Third Mother sitting at a table. A young boy is laid across it, dead. She reaches into his stomach and pulls out an organ and bites into it. I choked.

Rome was a good choice for the setting. The city is beautifully shown along with some of its countryside. Udo Kier, who I mentioned in an earlier blog, plays a priest who is also an exorcist. People possessed lined the courtyard where he lived and he says he's never done as many exorcisms as he's done that day in his whole life. Poor Asia sees one of the possessed attack him with a meat cleaver and mutilate his face before she slits her own throat.

Udo Kier in his last moments in the film.

Really, the whole movie ends in that vein (no pun intended). There were a lot of shocking moments that made me jump and avert my eyes. This movie is not for the squeemish and easily grossed out. Extreme violence is the norm in any giallo film. The only thing I wished for was better CGI and the more surreal look that "Suspiria" had. "Mother" was the most realistic of the three. It didn't convey that feeling like you were in Wonderland with demons and evil people chasing you because they were going to torture you and eat you alive.

I liked this one though. It was a good film to see before Halloween.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ash v. Freddy v. Jason v. Michael Myers? Bring it on!

This month has bought with it an abundance of new movies along with special releases of classics. Recently I've acquired the first four "Nightmare of Elm Street" films, "La Terza Madre" (The Third Mother) by Dario Argento, and Halloween 4 through 8. I plan to watch every movie until Halloween itself sneaks up on me. I can't believe we're already halfway through the month.

Why all the movies you ask? Why not? Plus, since it is spook season, a lot of places are having deals and major discounts. I bought the "Nightmare" movies for 3 bucks a piece... If that's not a steal, I don't know what is.

I have never seen any of the Freddy movies to their completion. I couldn't. I would always stop at the "boiler" scene or try to continue but be way too freaked out and skittish to watch the rest. There's just something about a monster who can kill you in your dreams or while you're sleeping. It's been years since I've tried to watch it so hopefully I won't be as terrified.

Finally "La Terza Madre" comes out on DVD! It's Argento's latest release and part of his classic "Suspiria" trilogy. If you haven't seen "Suspiria" or "Inferno" you are doing yourself a major disservice. Those movies are what Argento is essentially about. They are giallo. "Suspiria" was so good because of the surreal feeling of the story and gore. The use of vibrant colors and just weird looking sets was reminiscent of "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Blood was a reddish hot pink that oozed too thickly, but had the brilliant effect of slow motion to make every one's skin crawl. Using a witch as a villain successfully in the film is a major accomplishment in and of itself. Not many (and I don't recall any at the moment) have used the plot of an evil witch effectively. My favorite scene is where the heroine finds the witch. Joan Bennett plays the villain and to hear the profanity coming out of that dainty, elegant, beautiful woman will leave you in awe if you're familiar with her other works. It's like hearing Carol Brunette yelling, "Fuck you!" to the crowd if asked to do the Tarzan yell. I get shivers just thinking about it. I'm going to watch "Madre" tonight so tomorrow look for the review.

Halloween can't be Halloween without watching John Carpenter's classic film at least a dozen times. I've seen it four times in the past week. I watched the second one again the other night. I ordered 4-8 and plan to see those once they come in. What about 3? "Halloween 3:Season of the Witch" is not a Halloween movie!! Even on DirectTV they show it in the guide as "Season of the Witch" sometimes. Michael Myers is not in the movie so forget about it. It never should have lived. Of the movies I ordered, I've only seen H2O (Halloween 7) and bits of "Resurrection" (8). The others I will spend a whole day on my parent's 46' getting the best sense of Myers that I can.

In other news, I just saw that studios are thinking of another "X-Files" film (please, do it justice this time) and "Die Hard." Let poor John McClain retire! Die Hard 4 was ok, but it didn't have any of the grittiness of the first and best film. If they do a 5, I say cast Alan Rickman as the bad guy and just give him a new name and a new edge. He'd rake in the crowds while making the ultimate villains list again. Leave him as an older, silver haired villain. He's gorgeous just like that.

Ok, I'll stop blabbing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Everyone knows Udo Kier...

Again another random writing exercise to not be bored so bare with me. I promise I'll have something substantial in the next few posts which I'll explain below.

First off schedule for the rest week: class, work, class, discussion, debates, more work, and then fun stuff. Fun stuff consists of seeing friends who live out of state as well as me going to a place I've never been before but have been there a hundred times. On Friday night I'll be going to the Grauman's Chinese Theater to see "Parasomnia." I've been to the theater a million times but have never watched a movie in there. I almost did over the summer, but well, due to time restraints and not getting a sacred black bracelet... It still hurts to think about. Anyway, I'll be busy in a good way.

These past couple days have been horrible! My poor car is in the shop again for more replacements. This time the throttle cable broke (which hardly ever happens but I hit the one in a million chance). Then after picking up my car, my axle broke. I wasn't a happy camper. It's 13 years old with over 217K miles on it so I can't be too mad at it. It has been a really good car. I'll probably tear up when I sell it or watch it go to the big parking lot in the sky.

Also, two midterms in one day should be illegal. That's all I'm saying.

The reason why I mention Udo Kier in my title because it's true (and also it was his birthday yesterday). Everyone has seen this man in hundreds of movies but really don't know his name. He usually plays extremely intelligent, sinister, scary characters. In the first "Blade" he's the vampire who gets his fangs pulled out and zapped by the rising sun. He played in Rob Zombie's "Halloween." He's done a cameo in Quentin Taratino's grindhouse (look for him in the "Werewolves of the SS" trailer). Any really weird, scary, thriller he's probably in it. Hell, you just have to look at the man to know he's awesome.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate and Challenge

Damn it! I'm missing the debate. Again. This is the only reason why I hate night classes; I miss all the good programming. I have seen the first debate thanks to the power of tivo, but I still have to see the VP one.

My assessment of this whole crazy situation: Both are spouting the same rhetoric that their political parties stand for, though McCain does uphold economic regulation which most of the Republicans are against. Change? I don't see it. Let's face it, people, "change" has as much meaning as "family values" in the political arena. No one can define those terms. They are abstract concepts. You're a fool if you think change will come in the form of a politician. They're almost as useful as lawyers, but are certainly easier to buy.

Another thing: Celebrities need to stay out of the political arena. Let the grown-ups take care of business, guys. It always amazes me that people will actually listen to celebrities whose lives are in total disarray and have no concept of normal hardships. Yeah, they might have at one time, but they don't anymore. Actors are narcissists who use the world as their stage. They wouldn't be famous if they didn't have that drive to be the best or the charisma to charm their way into the business. Don't be a sheep.

So here's my challenge, tell me why your candidate should win, Obama, McCain, hell even Ralph Nader if you're so inclined. Here's the tricky part... Explain the policies and don't give me short-shit answers like "Just Because" or "He's awesome." That just shows how mature you are and proves my dog, Penelope, has more intelligence.

[Whew, the passion is addicting...]