Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On Hold. Please Read!!

After many months of researching and thinking over many tough decisions I've finally finalized some of my future plans. After I come back from Chicago I'll be attending a Los Angeles Sheriff's Women in Law day.

Then I'll be taking the test the next time they schedule it (which right now is every Saturday so the last Saturday of August or the first of September).

Basically I'm going back to my original plan of becoming a deputy and then in three or four years deciding whether I'd like to be an agent for the FBI. Right now, I'm trying to copy two people: My Dad (who is a Sergent with LASD) and my cousin Ken (who works as an officer for Las Vegas Metro). I picked them both based on life-styles and how they are generally as people, great guys. Plus, Ken is single like me and travels wherever he wants. I want to do that. I do want to eventually get my MA in Criminal Justice or Administration of Justice (AJ) and I know that LASD will help me in a couple years to achieve that.

If I pass the test at that time, I'll be hired, but put "on hold" until I finish up at UCI. They'll do all my background check and physical fitness and psyche tests at that time. Then once I graduate I'll be going straight into the Academy and people won't see me for a little more than 18 weeks.

Whew! Hopefully this time next year, I'll have my own place, a new car (or *cough* motorcycle), and be happy at that moment.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Johnny Depp in the Shadows.

2010. What's another year and a half going to do to me? It's going to make me impatient and insane with want for this movie, Dark Shadows. Yes, dear readers, it's finally got it's own movie page on IMDB. I actually felt giddy when I saw that. I can't believe it's going to happen. I really thought that it was never going to be shown in any visual media again. In 2004, the WB made a pilot for a new series. That was deader than Tom Jennings with a stake through his heart.

When Dan Curtis, the man who literally dreamed Dark Shadows, passed away, I thought that this was it, the end of the line. The little sea side town of Collinsport, Maine, was never going to be viewed again. The series was only going to be remembered by the few who still kept it in their hearts and those who celebrated it year after year at the Festivals. Lo and behold, not even a year after his passing, a strange article came out in Variety. Johnny Depp had purchased the rights of Dark Shadows from the Dan Curtis estate. Many of us diehard DS fans knew of other celebrities who had watched the show as children and had been inspired by it in their work. Depp actually says in one of his biographies that he wanted to be Barnabas Collins when he was a kid.

When Depp announced he was going to make a movie, fans went nuts. It was announced right before the 2007 Festival which was also a very special one. Jonathan Frid, the original Barnabas Collins, had come out of his hiding and was going to be a special guest. Fans had not seen him for well over ten years. Plus, it was his 40th anniversary debut of his appearance as reluctant vampire, Barnabas Collins. I've already written about this at length so most of you probably had read about that. At that Festival, the conversation starters were, "What do you think about Depp's movie?" or "What actors would be good for the cast?" My favorite memory of that festival is when a fan asked Jonathan Frid how he felt about Johnny Depp resurrecting the show.

Jonathan Frid: "Johnny who?"

You have to love Frid for that. It was just one of those priceless moments that should've been captured on film. Well, Frid might not know much about the talented Mr. Depp, but Depp sure knows Frid. This year there wasn't much to talk about but for the rumors of Tim Burton directing. John August is going to do the screenwriting definitely.

Other actors have not been announced. My hope is that they use new blood (no pun intended). They need new people to play these roles. I can't think of any big celebrity to fit the roles. I will put in my two cents and say the original cast should have cameos. About 98% of the population will have no clue why only one or two people in the audience cheer when they see an "extra." The ones I can see doing it would be Kathryn Leigh Scott, Lara Parker, David Selby, and maybe John Karlen (he's iffy since he wasn't too happy with certain producers). Jonathan Frid would be a long shot. I think I'd yell "HELL YES!" and jump out of my seat if I spotted him.
Anway, to continue on...

The biggest concerns fans have I've noticed is the polt. There are several story lines that can be used: 1966 when Barnabas is released and terrorizes the town and kidnaps a woman who looks like his lost love; 1975 when we see the reasons why he was turned into a vampire ("Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"); 1970 when Collinwood is haunted by the ghost of cousin, Quentin Collins; 1897 when the Vampire meets the Werewolf. Hell, it can easily become a franchise if Depp plays his cards right. Those are just the main storylines. I hadn't even touched on some of the smaller ones. The story with the most success, in my ever humble opinion, would be 1795. For me, it's the most exciting, the most passionate, and the one that will be the perfect starting point for future movies. It has the action, romance, betrayal, and gore that will appeal to different audiences.

The scenes could be maginificent if they start it in Martinique and then film it in Maine.

The French island of Martinique.

The stark contrast of Martinique's warmth and soft beauty to Maine's cold, harsh climate would play a perfect foil in the film. The "feel" of it would send chills down the spine. I just got one thinking of Maine's winters.
The movie could end with Joshua commanding Ben Stokes, the loyal servant, to chain Barnbas in his coffin. The last scene could be Depp in the coffin, a vampire in full rage and bloodlust, trying to break free. Hell, if Depp even wanted to do a teaser, they'd already have an actor to play poor Willie Loomis and have him discover the coffin in the present day. I'd pass out in my seat if I saw that at the end of the credits.
More later! I'm sad all 1225 episodes are at my parent's house.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random Pile # 1: Comic Con, Reviews, Etc.

Ok, so I have several things to post, but I don't want to make individual posts for them because of their length and because I generally don't want to spoil some details for others.

"The X Files: I want to Believe." Go see it. If you're a fan, you'll like it. If you're a diehard, you may be disappointed because its actually not that scary. Yes, I walked into my house at 4 am that morning, looking over my shoulder, but I slept pretty well. I'm sorry, Chris Carter, but let Darin Morgan or one of the others writers, write the next movie. I also suggest Kim Manners to direct. I'll write more later since I know a lot of people haven't seen it yet.

Comic Con... was too damned crowded! 125,000 nerds and geeks in one place at any given time is too much for the world to handle. They have to have someone I really want to see there in order to get me to go again. At the moment, it would take no one less than Johnny Depp and Tim Burton speaking and showing clips of the Dark Shadows movie. I'd expect to camp out the night before because of Depp's fangirls instead of the die hard DS fans (which most probably won't be able to attend, more or less sleep on concrete). Don't they see that what Depp is doing is truly a show of his appreciation of a legend?

Tomorrow I may or may not be on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. If I am, it's going to be embarassing because one of the cameras literally swooped right at me cheering and generally acting like a crazy fangirl. It was Gillian Anderson! Sheesh, she's so beautiful and funny, who wouldn't love her? Find out who else auditioned for the role of Special Agent Dana Scully (I'm so glad this person didn't get it; she's probably one of the dumbest blondes out there) and hear the story of how Duchovny did some auditioning of his own.

Hm... so I'm off work now, but I'll finally post more pics of what's been happening when I get back to my place.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

X Files Cast Photos

For all the lovely people who do not have FaceBook (and good thing, too, since it's addicting), here is the link to the photo album I created of The X Files Premiere. Enjoy!

Click HERE.

The X Files Premiere: I want to Believe.

I got into Hollywood almost at 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. I battled the traffic on the 5 and 101 and then had to battle some more on Hollywood Blvd. The sections of Hollywood Blvd. in front of the Grauman's Chinese Theater were already blocked off and LAPD was canvasing the area. I parked in the Hollywood and Highland structure and raced out of it, my classic "I want to Believe" poster rolled tightly in my hand. I met a crowd of curious tourists who really didn't know how to not block a sidewalk. I feared for a minute that I was already too late when I couldn't see a line for the fan conference. I called a very reliable Phile, and friend, and then made my way to the hidden corner where they had people lining up.

I rocked back and forth on the balls of my feet, impatience radiating off of me. I needed to know if I was going to get a seat! Waiting is horrible and should be classified under cruel and unusual punishment. However, they started seating groups of 25 in the stands and the wait wasn't that long afterall. I rushed into the first available roll, camera in hand, ready to take that perfect picture. The sun beat down on everybody, but there was rarely a complaint. Philes looked up and down the cleared-off street, waiting.

And then Frank Spotnitz walked by. The crowd cheered and voiced their appreciation to the Man who made all that possible. He smiled and waved. He looked so pumped up for the Premiere to start. It was only about ten minutes later, I spoted Chris Carter sneaking in through the Kodak Theater to get into Grauman's. His grin was in place when he stood right outside the doors to the theater as he snapped photos of the fans.

David Duchovny was next. He walked in from the left side of the theater (if you're facing it) and right in front of the fans. Gillian Anderson arrived in an Escalade after and looked positively radiant. She's even more beautiful in person.

The Press had a field day with the photos and questions. It was another ten minutes when they finally reached the stage where the fan conference was going to take place. The same moderator from the LA Film Festival presided over it. I won't go into the questions because all were the same we've even heard before. I will mention the map of the world that a couple Philes made, which had X's marking where people had traveled from. That was an awesome gift and I hope Chris Carter was able to pick it up. Another honorable mention is Erica. She told Duchovny, rightfully so, that he should expect his email and comments flooded with video and photos of philes yelling "Nailed It!" That prompted David to smile and correctly demonstrate the way to properly say it. The crowd repeated, but David said, "You need a little more falsetto." Then before they ended the conference, tribute was made to the Philes who had been there since midnight! Wow. They certainly deserved the last gift that Frank gave out that night...

The staff cleared the stage and had Ralph Garmet from local rock radio station Kroq speak with the stars. Other celebrities were arriving at the same time, too. Brian Thompson, also known to us as the Alien Bounty Hunter, was in attendance. He spoke with Ralph for a minute before heading inside. Mark Snow spoke to him about the music. Mitch Pileggi came! He still didn't answer whether Skinner was in the movie or not, but he was entertaining as usual.

It was right before the movie was scheduled to start that Frank Spotnitz came back on stage with Ralph. Fans in the bleachers were already rushing out but I had no clue what was going on.

"Fans with a black wristband, you're watching the movie with us."

Now, here I was happy for all the people who deserved to go in, especially if they had been waiting in line for 20 hours. I was suddenly depressed though because they ran out of wristbands when they got to my group! Can you just imagine how that feels? It cut me deep. Oh well, back onto the show.

The remaining philes scrambled out of the bleachers and to where security was directing them to. I decided to stay until I saw the Press starting to pack up. Good thing, too, because several other XF almuns arrived late. I got a wave out of Rob Bowman as he hurried into the movie.
Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat) was a pleasant suprise.

The sun had mostly set as I walked back to my car. It was a major bummer I couldn't be in the theater, but the day overall, was more than I expected.

Special Thanks again to Frank! You are loved!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Dark Shadows Banquet, the Final Post!

So I'm finally going to finish this monster report off. I'll have no time the next couple days, especially with The X Files events in LA, Comic Con in San Diego, and then getting ready to go to Chicago. So here goes!

Mum, Dad, and I only waited for another twenty minutes in line after they had had their fun. I rushed into the banquet room and was able to find a table in the middle for us. The seats in front were reserved and the ones open were already taken. We sat with six other people, two who were really friendly and good company. The two were a gentlemen with his son. The son was in college, too, but a little younger than me. He had mutton chop sideburns so he became a new friend instantly. During dinner, we spoke about the usual topics of how the kids (the son and me) got into the show, how our parents watched it, the DS stars and how gracious they are. Before desert, Jim Pierson got up on stage and held a raffle. Our table was skipped every time!

After the raffle, they turned out the lights and showed clips of the restored scenes of "Night of Dark Shadows." That film is going to turn out so much better. They desperately needed to restore it. Then they showed clips of the stars making appearances on shows from 15 years ago! It was hilarious!

I will always whoop and hollar when Jonathan Frid "bites" Kathryn Leigh Scott.

Jim than thanked everyone for coming and then had one more hand for the stars. We finished our coffees and desert, said good bye to our new friends, and then rushed to the table where Frid was sitting. Luckily my Dad is tall and was able to take photos over the crowd already assembled. Frid waved at everyone and then got up to go to his room. Poor guy looked very fragile so I hope he's okay. He still has 2 more years according to his 4 year plan. I hope
Johnny Depp does the Dark Shadows film soon. I'd love for Frid to be able to attend the premiere (along with the others) and give his opinion of the movie. To have a photo with the both of them together, I think, would be marvelous.

Well, that was mostly it. I had a wonderful time and can't wait for next year. I hope they don't schedule the festival on dates where I'll be in the Academy or I'll be very sad indeed.

Next post will be my thoughts on the movie!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Dark Shadows Photos Cont.

The Cast Reunion

Jonathan Frid presenting clips

Jerry Lacy and Mum.

Jonathan Frid speaking with Lara Parker

My Dad with "Angelique." (Lara Parker).

The X Files Premiere and Movie

Ugh. I hate the time right before a movie comes out because of the reviews and last minute publicity the studios are trying to push out. Everyone gets so tense, so excited or irritable. I'm in the excited mode (if I seem irritable, its because a doctor yesterday started cutting me without waiting for the anestisia to take affect and she had the gall to chastise me when I jumped [insert colorful word]). I still haven't seen a whole lot of publicity for "The X Files: I want to Belive" but I think nerds have done well trying to promote it.

I have not read any of the reviews coming out for this movie. I won't till I've seen it. I'm too fond of it. What I have heard though, is that people who have not seen the original show or only know vaguely of it, will like it. X-Philes (the obsessed fans) won't be so happy.

There's two things Philes (and some others) I think must remember:

1) Chris Carter and Frank Spotinitz specifically geared this film to interest a broader audience. The Philes can't carry a film themselves. Period. They need the people that just go to the movies for whatever's on instead of the people who've followed it for years. Sad, but its reality. Carter, himself, has said this point. I really feel if they had geared it toward the Philes, it'd be like Indy 4 all over again.

2) They only had a budget of 30 million bucks. Do you realize that is nothing in Hollywood? Some shows on television are getting more than that! "The Dark Knight" had a budget of 189 million dollars. They made up their money this opening weekend and will probably make all their profit in the weeks to come. If anything is going to hurt XF, it's going to be the marketing and the people who think this is still a movie about aliens.

Tomorrow I'll be at the premiere, jostling over fans for a prime spot by the red carpet. The first 500 get a special press pre-interview and Q&A with the stars. I hope the doctor tonight tells me I won't have to come in again, or I'll be kissing my spot goodbye. I'll also be writing for XFN again so that would be bad if I don't go.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dark Shadows Part II: That's not my sister, that's my Mum!

It seems too anticlimatic to be sitting here at work after this weekend. I'll probably write that sentence again after I come back from San Diego this weekend. So to continue on where I left off...

David Selby on stage is a must to witness. He should have been a preacher instead of an actor. The crowd was mesmerized by his charisma and charm. He's a natural born story-teller. He spoke of his early days on the show and for the year after he started he was deemed a public safety hazard and was not allowed to do public appearances. Hundreds of Thousands of people would show up to see him. "Now, I knew how the Beatles felt," he joked. Well, there were 1500 people in the audience so I'd say he can still draw in a crowd. I love his voice. I'm a voice and eyes girl. His West Virginian accent was much stronger than I've ever heard it. Every so often, whether intentionally or not, he'd growl his words in Quentin fashion. Do you realize how sexy it is for a guy to growl?!

Sadly he finished his talk and questions. Several fest workers errected a barrier, hidden by black curtians. They blocked the audiences' view of who or what was behind it. Jim Pierson, the chairman of the Fest, said Selby was going to sign autographs after the cast reunion. He then left the audience in silience. Very slowly the door stage-left opened. In peered, John Karlen who then made his way to stage. He was Willie in those moments. He told the crowd he was "lookin' for some family jewels." With bated breath he slowly drew the black curtain back. A coffin was laying in the middle of the stage. Only DS fans would know the significance of that. "Willie" slowly drew closer, greed evident in his face. He "pried" open the casket and slowly opened it. People were on their feet as "Barnabas" (Johnathan Frid) reached out and grabbed "Willie" by the throat. I have no clue how Frid was able to get into. In true DS fashion, we still didn't see how "Barnabas" gets out of his coffin. That was wonderful.

The rest of the cast came on stage together. Frid went back to his room, poor guy. Sitting from left to right were Marie Wallace, Robert Rodan, Jerry Lacy, Roger Davis, Lara Parker, Kathryn Leigh Scott, John Karlen, Chris Pennock and David Selby. You can tell they are still very close to each other. They remembered the bloopers and "old days." They hadn't been on stage together in years. It was wonderful.

When it was over, I ran out as fast as I could and groaned when I saw a large line already. People must have left during the questions. For the first hour in line (yes, it took me hours to reach him), I chatted with the people in front and back of me. The guy behind me was young but still in his early thirties judging by the gray stubble along the corners of his mouth. He looked like Greg Kinear, but with black hair. Not bad on the eyes at all. For some reason, people always divided the line through us to walk out of all that madness. I'd catch his eye and smirk when another person would say "Excuse me" and pass through. One of the managers was running around, keeping the line as organized as possible. I told the guy behind me that there is not enough money to make me want his job. For some reason, the manager caught our attention and then walked over to us. He joked with us for a while. It was out of the blue when he turned to me and said, "Darling, that shirt is just hot. Hot! I just think the off-the-shoulder look is sexy. And who's this guy? You're husband?"

Ha! I blushed as red as my hair, but like the not-so-modest ham I am, I thanked him and said, "He's not my husband but he is cute." We all got into fits of laughter and the cute guy blushed and flirted back. I forgot about him once I saw David Selby. Chris Pennock signed my program and took a photo with me before I reached Selby. Everyone was so excited. I rocked back and forth on the balls of my feet as I got closer and closer. His assistant finally took my items (a canvas portriat of him as Quentin Collins and a black and white photo of him on the Collinwood staircase). I asked him for a photo and he gladly obliged. I actually was just going to stand there, but before I knew it, he pulled me in close and we were almost cheek to cheek. I'm blushing right now. Selby is just so sweet and friendly. I hope to be able to see him again.

I ran out the door of the convention building, clutching my new treasures. The night air tasted fresh and cool. I regained my wits and placed each precious photo into my messenger bag. It was ten o'clock. I arrived back at my parent's house by 11 and you've already read what happened after.

Now, on to Sunday's activies.

I woke up early on Sunday to be able to see most of the cast before the banquet. I made it just in time to see Chris Pennock speak. He's still as goofy and laid back as ever. Kathryn Leigh Scott then took the stage again and answered questions. Lara Parker came up after her. Parker has a very dry sense of humor that is both ironic and sarcastic. I love it. The programming was running a little late and I feared that I might be late to see Jerry Lacy speak (I had to go get dressed for the banquet). He came up on stage, right on time. He showed clips of his favorite moments. He spoke about some of the theater he did. He's a real gentlemen. I was so happy afterward to get his autograph and a photo.

I raced home to change and make sure my parents were ready. They had wanted to go Saturday but it was my Dad's 30th High School reunion. My Dad drove us back to the convention. It was 6 o'clock when we got there and people were already lined up. The banquet started at 7. While we waited my Dad and Mum looked around. They're closet-nerds. I told them to walk around and go see what the Festival was about. After a half hour of being by myself, my Dad comes back with a big grin. He got an autograph and photo with Lara Parker. My Mum had a big head because Lara had asked my dad if she was his wife and then said she was very pretty.

My Mum had spotted Jerry Lacy at the bar, talking to a couple people, but she was pretending to be shy in order for me to go with her. My Dad held our places while we walked back. Lacy was speaking with Stuart Manning (producer of the audio dramas) so we hoboed about unit Manning left. I jumped right in and asked if he could take a photo with my Mum. This next part is hilarious. His eyes widened and his face was one of shock.

"That's your Mom?! You could be sisters!"

We laughed so hard. Mum was smiling ear to ear. I snapped a photo of them and showed it to them. My Mum couldn't resist telling him, "You're still so handsome and I love your characters."
He replied with a wolfish wink, "You're not too bad yourself." I cracked up. Lacy waved at us as we walked away. I'll post the picture once she sends it to me.

I'll finish up writing about the banquet in my next post. This one is already a monster.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My day with a Servant, a Madman, and one Blue-Eyed Wolf.

The late Grayson Hall.

I just got back from the second day of the Dark Shadows Festival. It's being held at the Burbank Marriot, right across from the Bob Hope Airport. I just love attending and hearing all the stories from first generation fans (fans who watched the show as it aired in 1966). I left around noon to arrive at the Fest around 1:00. All the stars were going to be there around 3 so I figured to give myself some cushioning and time to get settled. [Plus, since I saw "The Dark Knight" on Thurs. night/Friday morning, I was beat and wanted to sleep in.]

I've been to that Marriot before so I knew my way around. I got my registration and banquet tickets. I picked up a couple of photos from the Vendor room to have ready for the actors to sign. Then I walked into the main room where Bob Cobert, the show's music composer, was holding court. He was telling the story of how he created the haunting theme that no one has matched for any show. The crowd laughed and cheered. Poor Bob had to be cut off when he was speaking because he took up all his time. I was holding a space on the wall, but found a seat once people got up to stretch or walk around.

Robert Cobert.

I sat with a nice couple and a lady who like clock work, asked, "How'd you get into the show? You look a little young." I smiled and explained how my parents, mostly my Pop, introduced me to the show. We chatted about the show, other festivals we've attended, where we were from.

Jim Pierson, the chairman of the Fest, then came out and told us David Selby will be on stage in a couple minutes. Well, he lied. I was speaking to the couple when all of us jumped.

"I'm Quentin Collins, folks! How's every buddy doin'?"

David Selby walked in from the back of the crowd, blue eyes shinning, a very Quentin swagger to his walk. His voice boomed over the crowd. After the initial shock, the crowd was on its feet. He threw confetti and shook hands to people on the edges. He jumped onto the stage (almost literally) and began to speak about his book. He's a very restless guy. He paced back and forth throughout his whole talk and worked the crowd like the pro he is. His energy was just amazing.

Ok, so it is already a half past midnight, so I'm going to continue this later on tonight or tomorrow. Here's my precious pictures though that explain why I'm grinning like a fool.

First picture: Yours truly and David Selby.
2nd: Chris Pennock and I
3rd: It's John Karlen!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Dark Knight. Warning: A bit Spoilery.

Wow. Just wow.

This is what I thought when leaving the theater around 3 this morning. Let me start from the beginning...

I arrived at the Irvine Spectrum at 7 o'clock to meet up with my friend Victor. As I drove past the front, a chill ran down my back. Hundreds of people were already lined up. I thought I wasn't going to be able to exchange my passes for midnight tickets. I ran to the box office and breathed a sigh of relief. They had one more midnight showing open. I got tickets and then walked to the evil that is Chipotle. I met up with Victor, ate, walked around a bit, and then went to see how long our line was. It wasn't too terrible and we were able to get people to save our spot while we went out on a supplies run. We finally returned with fuller pockets at 9:30. And waited. Waited. Waited.

I nearly froze out on the grass we were sitting on. I watched as our long line gained at least another hundred people. There were multiple Jokers and Batmen walking around and quite a few Robins (with horribly short shorts; not a pretty sight to gaze upon). One guy was dressed as Two Face. He wore prostectics and spirit gum to enhance the effect. It was awesome. At 11, people jumped to their feet as theater employees tried to organize them. We didn't get into a theater till about 11:30. That wait was relatively short because a group of guys brought, not one, not two, but six beach balls. The crowd, already impatient and rowdy, had a blast. There were two kids who didn't appreciate the balls flying and the girl deflated one that she got a hold of. I didn't want to be her at that moment. Her boyfriend stood up a couple times to make it look like he was defending her because a rowdier group of guys were heckling her. Instead of being a poor sport, just bat the ball down instead of making a show that you're deflating it and flipping people off. Hell, even the theater employees and security were tossing the beach balls and hitting them as high as they could. Time flew by thanks to the rowdy guys.

Previews first.

Watchmen looks fucking epic. If you haven't read that comic yet, you should! The imagery looks beyond compare. "When the world cries for my help, I'll whisper, No." Enough said.

Yes! Another Bond movie with Daniel Craig! Quantum of Solace looks as good, if not better than Casino Royale. I really didn't like the casting of Craig before I had seen Casino Royale (and also that he was afraid of water and was going to be filmed with life jacket on... Bond doesn't wear life jackets so luckily they cut most of those scenes), but after, I loved him. Dame Judy Dench is also back as his uptight, classy boss and she's always a pleasure to see on screen.

Terminator Salvation. I never thought they were going to make another Terminator movie that was good. I think I may be wrong, especially since Christian Bale is playing the future's savior, John Connor. We'll see if it can pass with audiences in 2009.

Disney's new movie Bolt. It has John Travolta. I don't know if I can stand to hear his voice for two hours. I'll probably become sick with the Hanta Virus and have to miss it. Darn.

I was sad for about 2.4 seconds on not being able to see the Half Blood Prince teaser. It's still so long away and I have a ton of stuff I'm obsessing over that its not a dire need. Yet.

Now to the main attraction, ladies and germs.

Again. Wow. The opening scenes established the ruthlessness of the Joker and already had the audience cringing and laughing nervously along with him. Heath Ledger as the Joker was brilliant. Throughout the whole movie, I didn't think once, "Oh, that's Ledger as the Joker." All I thought was, "He is the Joker." The role is radically different from anything he's done before. If he's not even nominated posthumously for an Oscar, the Academy will be labeled as old sacks of shite. I can see an uproar if that happens.

The story moves along seemlessly. The city of Gothman slowly dissipates into chaos and maddness as the Joker preaches the word of Anarchy. Christian Bale as Batman was more composed in this movie than the last. I would say even restrained. He was good though and the audience related to the feelings of desperation and resignation. The last scene made everyone's eyes glossy and the silence in the theater was very pregnant as Comissioner Gordon told his son that Batman was no hero, but a guardian, a dark knight.

Man, that still chokes me up!

Now, if you see the above reasons as not good enough to spend your money, here's the deal sealer. Gary Oldman. Most people still don't know of/ care enough about this man, and it's a bloody shame. He is the Lon Chaney Sr. (Man of a Thousand Faces) of our times. I was so happy that he was in more scenes and played an integral part of the plot. He kicked ass, plain and simple in laymen's terms. His Gordon was the tough, smart cop that worked tirelessly to bring in the bad guys.

Gordon, Batman, Harvey Dent, and even the Joker were very human and I believe that's the key to this film. You see Gordon make mistakes. You see Bruce Wayne in despair and indecision. Dent was trying to be the savior of Gothman but was swallowed by rage. And the Joker... "I'm just ahead of the curve." That line is chilling and has an air of foreboding that will likely travel into the third movie.

I'm not going to go too much into the plot, because I want people to see this film for themselves. I would just ruin it with lenghtly prose that would probably confuse you anyway. Let's just say that the most memorable scenes will stick with you for a while. I'm still picturing the Joker in a red wig and candy striper uniform. The end of that scene I heard was improvised, but I found no evidence online to support that. I did find that the Joker's clapping in the jail cell was improvised.

I only have one small, tiny problem that irked me a little. The cuts were a bit too sharp at times and you can tell Nolan wasn't comfortable with certain sequences. That might have been me trying to focus though. It was in the early hours of the morning and I have been out all hours of the night, the days before. As they say, "It's all good though" and most people will probably not notice it nor care.

Overall, I loved it. I will see again before the weekend is over. I loved it even more than the first film for the simple reason of having the characters established already. It's a bit tedious to see character development. I really like these sequels because they don't have to take a lot of time to get to "know" the characters and develop their backgrounds. When Iron Man 2 comes out, I'll probably love it more than the first, too.

I'll be out in Burbank most of the weekend for the Dark Shadows Fest, folks. I'll have pictures and stories about that soon.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lions, Tigers, and... Demons? Oh my!

I had a lot of time to kill before a "meeting" on Monday so I decided to skip down to the cinema and see "Hellboy II: The Golden Army." I planned it perfectly since the movie ended right at 5:50 and my meeting was at 6. I actually thought everyone was going to be there already, but it was another half an hour before everyone was seated.

I digress though. I have to say I missed the first two minutes of the movie. I was taking my sweet time at my place until I realized I had ten minutes to drive to the theater, get tickets, and sit down. I made it and that's all that counts. The movie itself was very good. The Hellboy franchise isn't my favorite fantasy by far, but it's refreshing newness and imagination just appeal to me. The creatures were done well and the Troll market did remind me of the cantina from the first Stars Wars. The Prince also reminded me of Lucius Malfoy and that annoyed me a bit. I couldn't get Jason Isaacs out of my head (especially after seeing the photo with LM sitting in his manor...). I was also saddened to see that one of the characters didn't get a happy ending though I wanted him to. I guess it was all part of the story. Anyway, it was worth my 9.50.

Tomorrow the Dark Knight opens at midnight but I think I'm going to have to see it late on Friday. I also just realized that this weekend is the Dark Shadows Festival so my Saturday and Sunday are completely booked.

Now I've crossed over into the realm of No Time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Wall E

I just came back from seeing Wall E. I have to admit, I loved it. The animation is brilliant. The story is very cute. Pixar has hit another home run.

I was more excited than some of the kids in the theater once I heard the opening music, however. I had to strangle down a gasp of surprise. I quickly leaned over to my Mum and asked her if she knew who was singing. She looked at me, eyebrows raised, and waited for my random response.

Michael Crawford.

It was just too wonderful that Wall E was in love with "Hello Dolly!" and listened to it whenever he could. I think I was the only one in the theater who knew it was him and actually know of him.

Here's a good article about Wall E and the creator's choices of music (click here for the video samples).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Musings in a Bar. Complete Version.

I had waited an hour for him at the bar a couple Saturdays ago. The bar was dark, the bartender's only light came from candles in small red bowls that enhanced the atmosphere. It was very warm in the building. Other patrons stood far apart from each other, speaking in low, husky voices. Men and women held their glasses like spectors and their cigarettes like lifelines. Smoke wafted in from the patio outside to combine with the smoke on the inside. It was about eleven when I gave up waiting for him. He never really shows up, you know. I finished the amber liquor in my glass and gently lowered it to the surface of the bar. The ice clinked rather noisily in the room. I looked around once more. The couple next to me were drinking scotch and smoking Marlboro's Gold. Several business men sat in booths, making this deal, canceling that deal, and figuring out if "the boss ever found out about the fence." On the opposite side of the bar, men were enthusiatically going over the highlights of a game. Their laughter sounded harsh to my ears. I was just going to wave for the bartender to close my tab when a man sat next to me. I was sitting on the corner of the bar so I saw him take off his jacket and settle himself in out of the corner of my eye. The bartender saw him and rushed more quickly to him than to anyone I had seen him take an order from that night.

"I think I'm going to go for a... Miller Lite."

The man was adventerous and a big spender. I had to stop myself from snorting. The bartender turned and gave me a dirty look. He reached for my glass.

"She'll have another," the man said before the bartender laid his greasy fingers on it.

I looked at him fully for the first time. His brownish eyes were crinkled back in an almost mocking way. He had thin lips that smirked in my direction.

"No, thank you."

He fished in his jacket for a moment and brought out a small silver tube, a cigar. The bartender stood motionless as he watched the man.

"Why not? You in a hurry?" he asked me, a silver lighter appeared in his hand. He puffed twice and took the stogy from his mouth.

"I was just leaving."

"She'll have another," he said once again to the bartender.

Without hearing my angry protest, the bartender took my old glass and poured me a new drink. I watched the stranger through narrowed eyes. I didn't know what to make of him.

"I got her bill, too, Tom."

The bartender nodded. I sat on the stool, knowing I should bolt from that shallow sanctuary, walk to my car parked a block down the street with my S and W blade ready in my hand, and speed down the freeway towards normalacy and responsibility. I settled myself more comfortably in my seat and took a sip. The stranger's smile widened and he took another hit.

"Thanks," I muttered.

His smile widened a bit more. He blew smoke rings into the air and then tipped the cigar's ash into a tray.

"He didn't show."

It was a statement. My eyebrow rose of its own accord, but I still stared stoicly at him. He continued.

"You'll only see him on stage and silver screen. In too many faces and then in none. Each time he's there, he'll have different eyes, different noses, different smiles. His hair color will flit between black, brown and white. You'll allow a couple reds to amuse you, but you'll always go back to your roots, per se."

I was half way through my drink when I actually laughed. The crow's feet on his face lengthed and the lines around his mouth stood out in sharp relief when he laughed, too. He had a face that had seen more than its share of happy days and nights.

"So what brings you out here then?" I asked.

He took a pull from his bottle before looking me in the eye. They searched my face for something but I didn't know for what.


"Fate? That's all?" I said incredulously.

"That's all."

"I don't believe in Fate."

"Really? Well, now a days I don't think a lot of people do."

"It's too much a concept of dice. Too many variables and choices affect what we do."

"Ah, but there's the catch. Do we really think on those choices? Do we as humans fanthom every probability, every consequence of our actions?"

"That's still not a completely valid arguement for Fate. I do not like the notion that I don't have a choice even when I think I do."

I was half finished with my drink. He had finished his and his cigar was on its last inch. He took it from his mouth and stubbed it out in the tray. His hair had fallen into his eyes and he swatted at it to no avail. I glanced into the mirror behind the bar and saw my hair had become flat and pushed behind my ears. With all the smoke in the air, I hated to think how it and my clothes were going to smell. My skin felt greasy and cold.

Other patrons were slowly trickling out of the doors. It was almost one now. I thought of downing the rest of my drink so my hand moved of its own voilition and grasped the small glass. The ice chinked softly and I saw that half of them had melted. I took a tentative sip and then drank the rest of it in two swallows. It was more watered down than I had previously thought.

"Get her another, Tom."

"So help me, Tom, if you put another glass down..." I growled.

The stranger still had his bangs messy over his forehead. That mocking smile which had made me laugh earlier returned to torment me. Tom glanced between us and then put a glass on the table.

"Water with lots of ice this time, then." I muttered, "Jerk."

I flinched when the stranger burst out with laughter. Tom gave him a quick, hesistant glance and hurried back to the other side of the bar.

"Look, I have no clue why you decided to talk to me, but--."



"I just wanted to talk to someone and someone was here by herself."

I was annoyed by his "philosophy." He always looked calm and collected. The smoke didn't seem to touch him and the drinks had no affect. I was fazzeled and bemused. No other character had seemed to tolerate such a rude dismissal but still try to speak with me. Arrogance? More than likely mixed with stupidity.

"I have to go."

"Where will you look for him next? A park, a concert, the street? I don't think he'll ever show."

"I know he won't. That won't stop me from looking."

I met those brown eyes for the last time. He didn't stop me when I put on my coat or call when I turned my back on him. He didn't wait for that last look or good bye. When I was outside, I looked to see if he followed me out. He didn't.

"Good riddance," I thought as I walked down the dimly lit street.

I didn't realize till years later that it had been him.

On Hotels, Meeting a Werewolf, and a single Tear.

First off, I must say, the Hilton is a real bloodsucker. It costs 15 bucks to use the internet for 4 hours... I wanted to explode into a coughing fit of "rip-off's" in the lobby.

Next topic. I've recieved word this morning that David Selby will be at the Dark Shadows Festival coming up in a week! After meeting Jonathan Frid at last year's Fest, I had to meet the so called "other man" of the show. There are two scenarios that can happen:

1st: I proudly walk up to Selby's table, bold as brass, ask for a photo and autograph while casually chatting about upcoming projects.

2nd: I'm lost in blue eyes and am pushed out of the way by other fans who are more coherent.

I have a sneaking suspicion that the second scenario will play out. Come on! Give a girl a break when a guy looks so... male. That's the only word I can use to describe him! I've always been a sucker for period pieces, too. He's aged pretty well and his eyes are still a stunning blue. Now here's a werewolf I'll love forever.

Sorry Lupin and Jacob. It must be the slytherin in me to go after pure breds and blue bloods.

Final Topic: I've been watching my collection of horror movies (I have over 60 films that I need to watch in my posession) and last night watched Hammer Horror Film's Phantom of the Opera staring Herbert Lom. I always have reservations with watching films about the Phantom. I still can hear Michael Crawford's soft, anguish cries of "Christine!" whenever I even think of anything related to Leroux's book and still believe Weber's version is the best. Chaney's version is very good if you can get through it. I've only watched it twice all the way through. (Fun Fact: He was a distant relative of our current VP). The silence makes me antsy. I've seen Claude Rains's version and think its decent. (Fun Fact that they don't even have on IMDB: Rains is "seen" for about ten seconds in an episode called "Detour" of The X-Files. One of the character's is watching "The Invisible Man" in which one can hear Rains laughing manically). Anyway, getting back to Hammer's film, there's one scene that captured my attention. The Phantom, Christine, and Harry (the Raoul wannabe) come to a sort of truce ("No! You're suppose to kill Harry! Idiot!"). The Phantom is in the famous box 5 watching Christine sing to him. The camera zooms into the Phantom's mask and does a close up on his right eye. A single tear perfectly falls from his eye and that is all it takes to capture all the sadness and love in that scene. I have a lump in my throat just thinking about it. The movie overall in true Hammer fashion was really bad horror, but hell, isn't that what Hammer Productions was famous for?