Bleh with Barry

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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Dracula: My Hypothetical Movie Casting

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Today in the Gothic Literature class I’m in, we started our discussion of Dracula by Bram Stoker. While we did the usual discussion of Jonathan Harker’s uselessness, Mina Murray’s man brain, Dracula’s foreignness, and the many ways in which one can read the text, we additionally talked about the four prominent movie adaptations of the book:  Nosferatu (1922), Dracula (1931), Horror of Dracula (1958),and Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). However, after listing these movies, we discovered that an adaptation of the novel hasn’t come out in the past 20 years that even tries to be faithful to the original story (there was the ill-fated Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler… but yeah…). So we were tasked with casting a movie if we got the opportunity to pick anyone to be in our version of said hypothetical movie. Therefore, my list that I am posting below was born. I think that each of the actors that I’ve placed in certain roles would be able to bring a certain truthfulness to the movie that would resound well with the novel itself. Moreover, I know that some of my choices are a little odd, but I feel that each of the people that I picked would something to the characters that would make them memorable in some way. I hope you enjoy thinking about this as much as I did. 🙂

Dracula Cast List

Dracula— Michael Fassbender

Jonathan Harker— James McAvoy

Dr. Seward— David Tennant

Lord Arthur Holmwood— Matthew MacFadyen

Quincy Morris— Robert Downey Jr.

Abraham Van Helsing— Ian McKellen

Lucy Westenra— Rachel McAdams

Mina Harker— Gemma Arterton

Renfield— Andy Serkis

Bride #1— Kiera Knightly

Bride #2— Natalie Portman

Bride #3— Claire Danes

I have my reasons for placing certain people in certain roles. Moreover, I know that some of them could occupy many different roles in the grand scheme of things.

Tale of the Body Thief the Movie, or “Oh God, Please Don’t Let It Be Another Queen of the Damned”

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By Anne Rice [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Today on Anne Rice’s facebook page, she announced that Imagine Studios have gotten the rights and are developing a Tale of the Body Thief (TOBT) movie based on her book first published in 1992. On her page, Rice said, “Nothing makes Lestat happier than making news! Here’s the Hollywood Reporter story on Imagine optioning Tale of the Body Thief for a motion picture, with more names and details.” While I am excited by the prospect of a new vampire movie based upon one of Anne Rice’s books because I love the intricacies of the vampire world, I am additionally apprehensive as a result of Queen of the Damned (2002) starring Aaliyah and Stuart Townsend, which was awful… just awful… especially when compared to the success of Interview with the Vampire with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. However, this movie could see a return to that of the first film with Cruise and Pitt which might be a good thing, but there are somethings that might need to be thought about / changed.

1) The scope of this film will be relatively more focused than that of the book Queen of the Damned (QOTD). While the movie of Queen of the Damned resembled nothing of the book that Anne Rice wrote other than character names… and some chosen events, the book of TOBT takes place with very few characters actually taking part in the full of the action (mainly Lestat, David Talbot and, Raglan James). Moreover, if the adaptation does not lend itself to compression of other novels… whereas in the QOTD, this book and The Vampire Lestat were condensed into one movie that didn’t even reach the two hour mark… please….

2) Whereas QOTD (the book) is filled with intricate subplots and creates a new vampire mythology that the filmmakers didn’t seem to want to deal with and used multiple characters to narrate the complexity of the story (again filmmakers didn’t deal with), TOBT is pretty straightforward in terms of its plot. SPOILERS: Lestat being bogged down with his life… undeadness…. vampiric nature… decides to off himself in the desert,

By Anne Rice [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

which doesn’t work considering he gobbled up a lot of Akasha’s blood (making him as powerful as most of the old ones…). So, he gets an offer from Raglan James to switch bodies for a day… Lestat, being the brat prince that he is, cannot resist the chance of being human and agrees. Long story short, James won’t give back Lestat’s body, and Lestat and David must fight for it to get it back. Pretty easy to follow and streamlined…. one would hope that it would not be hard to plot… all I’m saying…

3) Most of the book deals with human Lestat rather than a passel of vampires. In QOTD, a crap ton of vampires appear due to many circumstances surrounding Lestat’s music, the Queen’s rising, and story time / planning session with Maharet. Thus, it would be difficult to get the characters right considering that by Rice’s third book we know a lot of the characters that are cavorting very well… Also, the additional problem of the vampires themselves and the powers they have institute themselves. In TOBT, however, Lestat is a human most of the time, and David is too. Thus, this should be a moot point… yet, I somehow still believe that it can be screwed up… possibly with a flashy action scene on a freeway in California, involving a car chase with human Lestat and Raglan James in Lestat’s body…. Ugh…

4) A new Lestat would be nice. While Tom Cruise does a serviceable job as the evil, non-complex Lestat from the first movie (i.e. Louis’s perspective of him), I don’t know that he could do the truly complex nature of Lestat as a stand alone character very well. Additionally, I hated Stuart Townsend’s portrayal of Lestat…. I feel that he did not carry the brat prince charm and the overall charisma of the character (this could be because it was a horribly written movie… “You’re a vampire?” line from the goth / punk / glam band member complete with southern twang comes to mind). Maybe we could see someone bring a little class to the role… also remember too that there have to be two Lestats in this film which complicates it… the one real body Lestat and the displaced body Lestat. This adds another level to the difficulty of casting this film… (God help me if I see Johnny Depp put into one of these roles either… I couldn’t stand to see a quirky Lestat with Goth make-up and weird hair… I just couldn’t…). I think that they should cast someone who is naturally blonde too… that’s just a pet peeve of mine…

5) Well, I haven’t really got a five… I’m not going to lie… if this purported film turns out to be anything like the QOTD movie, I might have to hurt someone… yeah… possibly Ron Howard since Imagine is his production company…

So there you have it, I look at this with much apprehension, but I am also hopeful that Lestat will once again get to live big on the theater screen… Hopefully, this reincarnation of Lestat (whenever the film may be released) will be better than the best that we have at this point. I look forward to the film and to Anne’s new book that will come out later this month.

If I Formed My League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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So, a friend just posted on my facebook wall asking me if I made my own League of Extraordinary Gentlemen using only characters from books (not the comics or movies). Immediately, I asked the question “Can I use villains and they play well with others?” because this is important in forming my group. This simple face can change the usefulness of some characters drastically. So, I suppose I will try to make my group considering that the villains have to work with the heroes for some reason or other…so with that in mind, here I go.

* Sherlock Holmes– With his powerful deductive mind, Holmes would make a good addition to any group’s intelligence

By Sidney Paget(1860-1908) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

factor. He would be able to break down analytical problems and move through them with a speed that others might not have.  He would also be good in a pinch when in a situation where he was fighting because he can break down the most effective route for dealing with people (no, I’m not thinking about the movie here…even though, he does it to an almost preternatural degree).

* Frankenstein’s Monster– I would be making this choice for two reasons. First, the monster would begin to round out the muscle of the group. He is preternaturally strong, agile, and durable, which would make him a good asset. Second, he has a knack for learning and appears to be pretty intelligent himself. So, he could serve a two-fold  position as both the brawn and, potentially, the brains.

* Merlin– Scary powerful sorcerer…need I say more. He can do a lot and help in a tight situation in many ways. Brains and power…

* Muldumarec– A shape-shifting knight from the medieval lai of “Yonec.” His ability to morph into other things would make him the perfect person to infiltration and espionage. He would probably be okay in a fight because of his abilities and his skills as a knight…I’m also talking about him without being killed by his lover’s jealous husband…

By Edward Reginald Frampton (1872-1923) (DĂ©mons et Merveilles (E.Brasey)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

* Titania– Another magic user and fae to boot, she would round out the group. Her femininity would help balance out the group of men and would allow her to seduce the opposing forces. Her magical abilities would also be handy in tight situations because she is the queen of the fae. Moreover, she can be quite frightening depending upon the folk tales / literature that she appears in. Her near immortality and invulnerability would also be handy in a lot of situations…

* Pandora– No, I’m not talking about the figure from Greek myth that unleashed pestilence upon the world. Rather, I am referring to the 2000 year old vampire from Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles (this is my guilty pleasure add). Pandora is sexy, provocative, intelligent, and powerful (she waxes philosophical but also rips out a man’s heart to drain it). With her telepathy, she could be the communicator of the group talking to the others mentally. Her pyrokinesis and telekinesis would also make her deadly from afar, and her other vampiric abilities such as immortality, super strength and speed, and near invulnerability would make her quite a force to be reckoned with… she would also play well with the other members of the group (unlike some of Anne Rice’s other characters).

So, there you go…I think that this would be a fairly balanced team of hard-core literary characters. I’ve tried to balance brains and brawn; moreover, I’ve also tried to create a middle ground of characters that can go either way. Overall, I think they would make an interesting group with a diverse array of powers.

Cleaning Out from the Move:Spiral Notebooks and Untold Potential

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Yesterday, I was cleaning out some of the boxes that I still had only partially went through since I moved to my new locale…I’m sure that everyone understands this…it was the dreaded “OMG WTF could be in these boxes” boxes…well, I realized that they were a storehouse of a lot of random stuff, such as under graduate essays and other material of that sort, a few outdated textbooks, and more than that…Well, I came to realize as I was sorting things for the trash and things that I thought of keeping that I cannot bring myself to throw out spiral bound notebooks…

This may sound like a weird confession; however, I never know what gems might be in them that I don’t even know are gems yet…This statement may sound a little strange, but I am a person who constantly doodles and writes in the margin of notebooks as I am in class taking notes and doing whatever that class may require of me…So, my plan for the next few days is to look at said notebooks and assess their viability. Maybe I will find a gem that turns into the next great American novel…who knows?

Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 18, 2011 at 8:16 pm

Thinking about Writing and Illustrating a Children’s Book

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So, most of the time my inspiration to do artsy things comes at the most highly inappropriate places as deemed by the rest of society. I’m sure that many of you probably wonder what I mean by this, and yes, I’m going to tell you. Yesterday, while I was sitting in the mother’s day service at church with my mom and dad, I had a though which I believe was pretty interesting to write a children’s book about. Now, I’m not going to divulge any of my ideas because 1) I’m not completely through the idea step of making it and 2) I don’t want my idea to be leaked to the world at large (maybe I’m just paranoid…possibly).

Anyway, I just wanted to see what you guys out in the blogosphere thought might need to be in a children’s book. Any ideas that might make the writing / illustrating of it easier or produce a better product in the long run? I’m just curious what others think because I know what I believe helps produce a higher quality work…so yeah…

Written by uncannynerdyguy

May 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Fear 95 of 101: Vampires that Sparkle

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My 95th spot on this count down belongs to the vampires of Twilight. Some of you have probably read my rant about these books and movies…however, the ideologies go much deeper than that. The main reason for this is because I can’t respect vampires that sparkle. Moreover, if they did exist and sparkled, I believe I would be frightened simply because they lack the scariness of the folkloric vampire. I want my vampire to try to rip my throat out or something along those lines simply because the wimpy vampire is just lacking.

**The degradation of the vampire mythos–While I understand that the figure of the vampire can be manipulated a bit, the idea of vampires sparkling is pretty ludicrous because in folklore they creatures of the night and darkness…and while Meyer is trying to do something different, she pretty much…strike that…she bastardizes the ideas of vampire folklore that has existed for centuries.

**The fact that teenagers and forty plus women are swooning over something this lame–Yeah, I don’t think I have to go further with this one.

**The idea that someone has made some much money off the bastardizing of folklore–I love folklore and mythology. It’s kinda one of the things that I do, and I hate the disturbing trend of late in which people decide that it’s okay to completely manipulate a creature to their own devices….it’s been happening for a while; however, it’s happening more so of late. Meyer’s vampires are just one example of this…yeah…

Written by uncannynerdyguy

April 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

True Blood Quandaries: Season 4 The Season of the Witch

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So, as some of you may know, I like the True Blood series because I enjoy the books and because I’ve been a long time fan of vampires in general. Moreover, the vampires of True Blood are the closest things I’ve seen to what I believe to be a good representation of vampires that has been in the media of late. Yes, I do not like Twilight, Vampire Diaries, Being Human (the American version…I like the BBC; and while it does follow the storyline fairly well, I think that advertising it as a new series is entirely ludicrous) because they all represent the vampires as broody teenagery things that long for the love of girls who are nowhere close to their age…it’s a thing because they want to treat the humans as others and worship their beauty or something of that sort. However, the True Blood vampires are grittier and treat humans like you would expect them to be treated…as cattle. Yet, this talking about other vampires is not what this blog is intended to accomplish…yeah…I’m planning on a little conjecture about what is going to happen in Season 4 from where we left off at the end of Season 3 and what I know from the books and from the clips that are available online. From this point on, I issue the *SPOILER ALERT* warning.

1) I see from the clips available online (see below) and from the introduction of the witches (Holly, Jesus, Lafayette) that they are going to do the Eric has amnesia plot line. Eric has a spell cast on him and Sookie and Pam must help him get himself back. Moreover, Sookie and Eric will get it on.

2) Hopefully, Sam’s family troubles are dealt with. I don’t know about everyone else, but his issues with Tommy and the others is getting quite annoying. And he has a girlfriend who is or did date a werewolf…does anyone see where this might be going? Honestly, I hope that they get back to the Sam that is present in the books and do away with the angsty Sam. So, yeah…

3) Jason is going to get turned into a werepanther…however, it will be through Crystal’s choice somehow instead of the jealous other Were in the books. Really, I hate this storyline. I didn’t like it in the book and the way that they are producing it on screen is working even less for me. I also know that Jason is my least favorite character…strike that….Crystal is my least favorite and the girl playing her really isn’t Crystal Norris. Plus, they manipulated the character of Calving Norris (Crystal’s uncle) and killed him…(he’s a nice guy in the books…not on the show). Read the books to get a better interpretation of this story line.

4) Bill is not going to die from his fight with Sophie Anne (even though if we were talking about the books he would…Sophie Anne is over a thousand years old in the book…not the weakling that she is now…). However, while he doesn’t play a huge role in the fourth book, it looks like he is going to be filling in for a higher up in the show. I think that maybe it will be for the newly deposed Russell Edgington or Sophie Anne, whom he has killed…again, I hope that he hasn’t killed her, but what he did at the end of Season 3 amounts to sedition and treason…yeah…

http://www.inside-true-blood-blog.com/blog/2011/3/26/waiting-sucks-bill-and-eric.html

5) Tara…after last season, I don’t know that anyone really wants her to be around this season…she’s massively damaged goods, and I feel that the time away from Bon Temps would do some good for her. Let’s face it boyfriend being killed, kidnapped and held by crazy vampire, and best friend almost dying will lead anyone to going over the edge. So, yeah….

6) Sookie…She’s going to help Eric. However, I don’t know how or when she will get back from Faery…but she’ll play a major role in the Witch War that will take place this coming season…however, that’s about all I can see happening with her, other than the Eric relationship and the sex with him…yeah…anyway….

7) Pam, Jessica and Hoyt–Jessica and Hoyt are together for now…and Pam is going to have a huge roll in the new season, and I’m excited because she’s my favorite character…it’s the dry wit and smart-ass attitude…

My biggest hope for Season 4 is that they move back to the more streamlined storyline (more streamlined anyway). Because as they branch out and make the storyline more convoluted in an attempt to interest more people, they cause a chaos of the story arcs that both detract from the main storyline and cause unnecessary weirdness. So, here’s looking forward to the Fourth Season of True Blood. I hope that you all enjoy watching as I know that I will…I leave you with the song they have been using to hype the new season: “Season of the Witch” performed by Courtney Love. Enjoy!