Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Warner Bros. has the rights on the "Batman" character (they own everything DC Comic related) so it controls everything related to Batman even though Fox was the original network who aired "Batman" nearly four decades ago. I've seen nearly every episode of the original series with Adam West, Burgess Meredith, Eartha Kitt, and Ceasar Romero. I'm a sucker for the classics. If they released the whole series on Dvd, I'd go out and buy it!
So hopefully Fox and Warner Bros. come to an amiable agreement so these projects could commence. I haven't mentioned "Watchmen" all that much since I still haven't decided what I feel about it. All of Alan Moore's work that has been made into films have not been good. The timelines of "Watchmen" will make continuity difficult also unless the director changes it... The teaser trailer looked good, but then again, so did "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" before I read the reviews...
Monday, September 22, 2008
Finally, FINALLY, "Parasomnia" is being debuted here in Los Angeles on October 17 at the Grauman's Chinese Theater. ScreamFest is the organization who has brought this film to town. I've been waiting for this film to make its way out West for a while now. William Malone directed and produced, funding the whole project himself. It is truly a "labor of love" as he has reportedly said. I've loved everything I have seen so far and am very excited to finally (sorry, last one) see it on the silver screen. The lovely Kathryn Leigh Scott I was surprised to see is actually credited with the main cast. Unfortunately too often former Dark Shadows alumni are secondary cast members, probably because older actors are not given the kind of screen time as young ones. Also, and I absolutely love Malone for his unintentional "nod" to DS, her character name is Margaret Evans. "Maggie Evans" was Mrs. Scott's first role (since she played other characters later on [Thayer David played the most with 12 different characters]). Malone in an interview with HorrorFest didn't realize what he had done until, of course, the interviewer asked him about it. He takes full credit now.
What I like most about this movie, is that it is not funded by nor under any big studio "guidance." It is truly an independent film. You don't have the execs demanding scenes cut because of their nature or because they thought it was too scary or too sophisticated for the audience. That's a major problem with movies today. They are geared for the "uninformed, unintelligent" audience. As an audience member I'm offended by that way of thinking although it saddens me to admit that most people are not the brightest crayons in the box (thus spending their money on movies that should never have seen the light of day or rather, the darkness of a cinema). Hollywood is slowly dying. More productions are coming from overseas and across the border. Mexican filmmakers have been setting the bar pretty high for their American counterparts. Europeans like "Let the Right One In" Swedish director, Thomas Alfredson, are making their way into the States and showing that creativity and imagination are well and alive. I'm happy to say that a lot of critics are saying that "Let the Right One In" is the best genre movie for 2008. I have to agree it has been the best film I've seen so far this year.
Now this next movie, I can guarantee you that it will not be widely publicized nor shown for long in theaters because of it's nature and politics. "An American Carol" comes out October 3rd but I haven't really seen any coverage for it... Hm... [insert sarcasm]. Oh, you bet Hollywood is annoyed a group of Republican actors have banded together to create a satire film. Come on, people, it's suppose to be making fun of how our politics work now a days, not a hate fest. Hollywood has such a blatant double standard when it comes to conservative politics. It's ironic how they preach intolerance as an evil, but censor those who they do not agree with. Way to go to be "open-minded" people, guys.
Friday, September 19, 2008
First off, I hate when a good oportunity comes right up to you and makes you stare as you watch it walk away. My dream bike is to own a 1951 Vincent Black Shadow which now a days are antiques and, unlike other cars and motorcycles, appreciates (increases in value). People who have these rarely sell. I've only found two ever since I've started looking for them years ago. One was sold over a year ago for over 50,000 dollars. Another is being sold at the momment with the current bid at 30,000. I am in love with the style and sleekness of the bike. Honda had similar styles in the 60s and 70s and I found a 1970 Honda for under 600... I guess I'll wait until I can afford my rebel since I don't really want to work on a bike after practically rebuilding my own car.
Seriously, my car is my monster. The only things not new in that car is the frame and apolstry. The apolstry is going to be my next big project since I'll have it for another year or so and the padding in my seat is non-existant. I don't know about the other seats since... um... I'm never a passenger in my own vehicle. When I first got him (since my car was a guy first [shotout to the Master]), He was in pretty good shape. I changed the oil and the timing belt, replaced a couple of the filters, and he was almost ready to go. It needed a stereo. I had Sear's do that for me. The second thing I had to do came when my Civic totally died on me. The engine which was faithful through over 210,000 miles and countless trips throughout Southern California decided it had had enough. I had the choice to rebuild it or buy a new one. A new one was cheaper and I got to put a 2002 or 03 engine in instead. I actually almost cried when the mechanic suggested to get a new one. I think he thought he was doing me a favor, but that car has a lot of memories. Thanks to Chaffey College and it's never ending building, all the tires are new. The window is a couple years old now but still pretty good and not peeling. I'm going to paint him next time I get a good discount. I thought it'd be really expensive, but it's really not. And finally thanks to gas prices, Civics are the highest sold cars right now, even the older models like mine. I've had random people offer cash for mine, mistaking it for my brother's car. I think I'll have a very nice down payment for when I buy a new Civic EX Coupe next year (or a Camaro if they ever get back on the market [I don't care if they're gas guzzlers, they are the sh**]).
To take a 180, I think Robert Pattinson would make an excellent Quentin Collins if that character is in the next Dark Shadows movie (click for good photo). I was reading in bed when I decided to give my eyes a rest and stare at all the posters on my closet. I had "moon" eyes for Duchovny staring right back at me, appreciation for Lon Chaney Jr. in full werewolf makeup, "I Want to Believe" filled me with nostalgia, and then my eyes moved to my Twilight poster of Edward and Bella. I had to do a double take at Robert. I then moved my eyes to my framed photo of David Selby. I looked back at Robert. I did this probably four more times until I practically shouted "Eureka!" I did a test with one of the only DS fans I know, my Mum. I found the poster online and asked her to look at it and think of Dark Shadows at the same time. She looked me right in the eye and said, "He'd be the perfect Quentin." Here's my poster and compare it to this photo. Wouldn't it be great to have "RPatz" and Depp in the same movie?
So to end this, I want a clock like this one.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Last year was the first time I had dressed up as a vampire. I won't count it since only a couple people saw me and I only went from Upland to Irvine and then to class and apartment. That was it. No parties, no walking around with other people to see the other costumes. Plus, I really put my costume together in a week.
I've already started slowly assembling mine this past weekend.
I started a whole month and a half early because 1) I buy most of my stuff online therefore need time for it to ship and 2) most Halloween makeup is on sale. I saw fangs and make up I had purchased online at a Hot Topic for almost 10% more than what I paid. VampFangs.com keeps sending me coupons and discounts. I'll probably buy a new pair of contacts, but haven't decided whick ones. I'm feeling glow in the dark ones.
Anyway, what is everybody dressing up as?! I have a million ideas flowing through my head!
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Vampires in literature were fairly quiet during that time. Some scholars who were interested in such things found other early works like Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan le Fanu or the comic serial "Varny the Vampire." The Vampire in Europe was published by Montague Summers in 1921 and became a handbook on vampire legends. There would not be a major break through in literature for many decades.
The film industry went quiet also, maybe because no one wanted to see horror movies when true atrocities were being committed everyday in Europe. Horror movies started to make their come-back in the late 1950's so it was no surprise when it was announced that "Dracula" would be back in theaters. What would surprise people was the 6'5" tall, very handsome lead and the story taking on a much darker, sexually charged plot. Christopher Lee would then go on to beat Lugosi's record of playing Dracula in more movies and also in the theater. Peter Cushing must have an honorable mention since he has been the archetype "Van Helsing" and, in my ever humble opinion, the best. His most noted role though would be one of his last, as the fierce General Tarken in Star Wars. For the 50's and early 60's, the stories undertones were ahead of the times and people loved them.
In all of this history, however, no one had even thought of a so-called "good" vampire. They were evil incarnate. They were portrayed as people, neither living nor truly dead, glorifying in their damnation and servitude of darkness. From the earliest known texts of scholars, vampires were always omens of evil; creatures to be loathed and killed when found. Vampires shied away from churches and crosses. In some obscure pieces of literature, mostly short stories, vampires elicited some pity for their condition, but a victim too many always changed the minds of readers. Vampires were beasts to be feared; beings who did not deserve compassion.
All that would change with a failing television show and a very pompous man.
In 1966, a British Canadian was packing his bags in his NY apartment in order to travel to California. He was going to become a drama professor for Yale University. Jonathan Frid had excellent credentials, having a masters degree in direction and numerous stage credits. I believe he felt that he could achieve more at the University instead of on Broadway. According to his tale, it was almost the moment for him to leave when he received a phone call from his agent. His agent wanted to know if he wanted a role lasting 13 weeks on a soap opera. He thought that would be a good, short role to take and it would provide him with more income for the trip.
The 13 weeks turned into almost 5 years. Mostly because the creator had the craziest idea at the time...
Dan Curtis was a pioneer already of television. He's the man responsible for having commentary improve the boring sport of golf and even having the players wear microphones. As a producer, he was always looking into his next gig, the next big break-through to make him money. He had created a soap opera, "Dark Shadows" that was not doing well in the ratings. When it looked like the show would be cancelled, he threw in a ghost to see how the audience would react. The ratings jumped. Once that storyline was finished, the show looked as if it would be cancelled once again. Dan Curtis was going to scrap the show. One of his children told him to make it scarier. Curtis then decided to add the vampire.
The character of Barnabas Collins began like every other vampire in media and television. He was evil. A not-so-bright crook thought he was grave-robbing his way to fortune until a hand reached out and almost strangled him. Collins preyed upon the women in his family's small town first and eventually moved to biting his own descendants. He lied his way into the elite social circles of Collinwood and charmed everyone he met. His crimes during the supposed 13 week run included slaughtering farm animals, murder, kidnapping, torture, and stealing. The storyline was gearing up for the eventual steak in the heart.
Dan Curtis wouldn't hear the word "End." The ratings had soared and ABC was willing to let the show continue. The only problem would be on how to keep the character of Barnabas Collins interesting. One couldn't have him evil all the time; it would get boring, fast.
"Let's make him reluctant!" Dan Curtis was reported to shout at a writer's meeting. "A person who hates himself is always interesting!"
And that led to the story of a 175 year old vampire who knew he was damned, but was still trying to fight his baser instincts to help his new family and to find the love that was lost to him. In one storyline, Barnabas is made to recount his whole story to a writer who sells his book as a work of fiction. This would influence a woman to write probably the second best known vampire novel and series of all time. Barnabas Collins sadly never found his peace of mind nor his lost love, but in the end he did gain his humanity... how long, no one knows.
The woman I mentioned above is an Irish Catholic from New Orleans. She was living in San Francisco, where the story starts, when she finished her novel. Anne Rice completed Interview with the Vampire in 1973, just two years after Dark Shadows went off the air. She didn't think it was good so she stuck it in a drawer and forgot about it for three years. In 1976, Rice changed her mind about the manuscript so the book was published and became an instant hit. Her only rival during that era was possibly Stephen King with his release of Salem's Lot. In 1985, Rice released The Vampire Lestat and started the Vampire Chronicles. Movies were spawned but the only one that did well was "Interview with the Vampire," probably because of Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise in the lead roles.
There was another quiet period that was short lived for vampires. Hollywood was getting into the comic book adaptations so it decided to release one about a dhampir, a half human, half vampire. "Blade" was a good start, but the other movies didn't fair that well. Other movies were released, but there was nothing new to them so they bombed at the box office. I have to say that I did enjoy "30 days of Night." It was a very good film that should have gotten more attention, especially for bringing back the raw, animalistic, actually horrifying vampire. "I Am Legend" brought vampires to the forefront, but they were not the pitiful people of Richard Matheson's classic novel. The only movie to achieve that feat was "The Last Man on Earth" with Vincent Price. The last vampire movie I saw was "Let the Right One In" which is the best I've seen in a while. Even if you don't like vampires, see it because it's just a beautiful and thrilling story. The English version (since the one I saw is actually in Dutch) of the movie will be coming out in 2010. Let's hope they don't mangle it.
Anyway, the public was lukewarm about bloodsuckers in general. The literature had become redundant. As of now, there are several projects showing, in production, or pre-production that have sparked a new interest in the undead.
Twilight by Stephanie Meyers is a book and series that has gotten millions of people to read about Bella Swan, ordinary human, and her Adonis-like, vampire boyfriend, Edward Cullen. Meyers has put a new spin on these legendary figures, creating new laws that these vegetarian vampires follow. Really though, they follow the relunctant vampire model with a touch of teen angst mixed in for good measure.
"True Blood" on HBO is a pleasant surprise. I actually wrote most of this last week, but wanted to post it after seeing the show. Southern folk and vampires fighting for their rights, make for a new change and an amusing show. The southern accents are horribly done, but add to the campy quality of the series. Definitely not for the kiddies and squemish. The series are based on eight novels which I'm thinking of picking up once I actually have cash in my bank account (Damn you,Terminus and Fun!).
And once again, I'm hoping Johnny Depp makes the best damn vampire movie of the decade with the "Dark Shadows" movie. I found out about Tim Burton directing from current DS producers and beat out my movie sources. I hope Burton can return to his former glory since lately he hasn't done well at all. A closet fan-my brother (who probably became interested when he was forced to watch hours of the show since I hogged the tv and talked about it constantly)-argued with me that it'll be good, siting eras of the show they'll probably focus on and which haven't been seen on a screen in a while. One can only hope.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
There is not a chance in hell I'd ever vote for Obama. He can posture and give pretty speeches all he wants, there's no changing the fact that he hasn't really done anything. Hitler was a good orator, too, and look where it's gotten Germany. People are starting to target Sarah Palin now because of the "no experience." If "no experience" includes actually facing and getting rid of corrupt fellow Republicans while managing the state of Alaska, then I guess she has none. Something tells me that Obama will not even think of turning in any corrupt democrats. Being a Governor is very different than a Senator. Governors are actually active within the state.
I bet most people know who there Governors are instead of their Senators. Also, there's two Senators to every state. They don't worry about emergencies or anything that really effects the people. In CA, who do we first blame? Schwarzenegger. Who's in the background doing nothing for us? Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.
Now, I don't care for McCain, but at least I've heard of him for years. He has a track record. I hadn't heard of Obama until the Dems started pumping up the media for this savior. Go ahead and vote for him if you like people telling you half truths. I loved how he said he would get troops out of Iraq in a "respectable time." Um... Didn't we sign an agreement with the Iraqi government about troop withdrawal to be finished in 2012 a couple weeks back? I don't remember the media covering that. Oh! But everyone does know 2012 is another election year so how perfect for him to be seen as the one who got us out of that Hell! What a great guy! Wait... his name isn't on the paperwork? Oh well, the Public doesn't pay attention to details like that.
McCain is no angel. His skeletons are hanging out for people to view and read up on. I was suprised at his nomination since he is one of the most liberal Reps out there. The "Maverick" is the nickname. He has issues that need to be addressed.
I'm not endorsing anyone here. You pick for yourself. The internet is ripe with information on both canidates. Read between the lines though because every site has it in for one canidate. CNN and FOX can preen all they want about being fair. The Media is never fair.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
As a cult classic, it's near impossible to replicate. Plus, it wasn't even a mainstream movie to begin with. "RHPS" began as a midnight movie and grew it's following from there. It's Tim Curry's best movie!
Other remakes that are already in the works (unfortunately): Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play (ugh, another Chuckie movie? Really?), Clash of the Titans, The House on the Left, The Ten Commandments (I can't think of how anyone can replace Charlton Heston), and countless others.
These movies are all classics! Leave them the hell alone! Isn't there any original material out there for studios to use? Aren't there any scriptwriters with an imagination? Are we, the audience, doomed to sit through remakes and "adaptations" for the rest of our lives?
I'm even leery on seeing "Star Trek." First of all, I don't care for any of JJ Abrams stuff. I give him props for being original (kind of), but he just hasn't sucked me in. Second, after seeing Chris Pine (actor to play Capt. Kirk) act on the silver screen... I wanted to grab him by the hair and tell him not to be so damned wooden and egotistical. He's in "Bottle Shock" and his screens would have done better on the editor's floor. Oh, I loved the movie. Alan Rickman and Bill Pullman were marvelous! But Chris Pine annoyed me to death. I'm no actor and I could point out all of his errors. It was shoddy work. Mostly everyone who's seen the movie, will agree. For some, he ruined it for them sadly.
Anyway, same old rant but with some new details. I hate remakes with a passion. Why doesn't a studio just release the movies? It worked for Star Wars...
Added at 12:04: I just found out that they are remaking "Casablanca" and "True Grit." The later is beind directed by Michael Bay... This really is a sick world.