Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Archive for the ‘Folklore’ 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.

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Pondering Gothic / Vampire Songs for my Class

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I am in a pretty cool graduate class if I do say so myself. It’s called “Spectral and Sublime: The Gothic Tradition,” which is offering me the chance to read fun things like Dracula, Jane Eyre, Carmilla, and many more stories (a lot of them dealing with vampires that are my favorite). While the books themselves are pretty awesome, the professor also asked us to think of some songs that are related to the Gothic or to vampires. So I have been on the interwebs looking for songs that I feel represent these two aspects; however, the few songs that I have here are only a smattering of what I’ve found… and what may be locked away in the deep recesses of my mind.

The first is “Moon Over Bourbon Street” performed by Sting. This song is about the vampires that appear in Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles with an emphasis on Lestat. In the song, it is imagined Lestat is going down Bourbon St. in New Orleans with the moon high overhead and existing much as vampires do: stalking their prey and enjoying the immortal life.

The second song was played during the credits of Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992). Performed by Annie Lennox, “Love Song for a Vampire” is beautiful and chilling and embodies the emotions of love and loss that seem to be common themes throughout the whole of the film. Moreover, it’s easy to hear how Annie Lennox continues to get work singing for films as she is a sultry siren.

Finally, “I Would Do Anything for Love” performed by Meatloaf and written by Jim Steinman is not a song that is particularly Gothic or vampire-y in a lyrical or musical sense. However, the video itself is quite Gothic with the large architectural feature of the gloomy mansion and the fact that the he is a monster that is in love with a beautiful young damsel. Additionally, he is transformed in the end by the power of their relationship (mayhaps… this is really unclear to me). The fact that he will not do something for love also makes it interesting to a large degree.

Vampires, the Gothic, and music mixing makes me a happy camper because they are all things that excite and interest me. However, I do not think that this is even the tip of the iceberg for these kinds of songs. And to any readers out there, I would appreciate any suggestions that you might have to help me compile songs for my professor’s list.

A Thought of Leaving

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Day after day,

I wait, but

You never come.

*

While I can and do

Breathe underwater,

My lungs get tired.

*

I am your lady,

But I have begun to

Question your authority.

*

Why should I wait?

You never waited on

Me, anytime.

*

I carry your burden,

A martyr never named,

Never thanked, just a chest.

*

I hold your treasure and

Rot as I think you will

Open me and feel me.

*

Alas, you never come,

And I wilt while

Your glory and pride shine.

*

I will not wait much

Longer, for I am getting

Bored and tired.

*

I caress a sword,

But it’s never you

And never will be.

*

Perhaps, I will leave

My Lake, leaving behind

All my sorrow.

*

If I do not wait,

You will not control

Me, never again.

*

However, maybe I am

Too rash. Maybe your

Horse died and slowed you.

*

Maybe, you caught

A Cold at

Christmastide.

*

Maybe I am

Hopeless and need to

Move on….No matter how hard I try.

Written by barryr22

September 29, 2011 at 10:20 pm

The Lady of the Lake: A Series of Poems

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So, I’ve been writing a lot of poetry of late that has been dealing with the Lady of the Lake. Honestly, part of this is because I am in a Medieval literature class dealing with monsters or whether part of me relates to her on some level…anyway, I am fascinated by the character and what happens with her after the whole Arthur thing takes place. As you’ll notice from many of my poems, I kind of want to give her back the sword after the events that lead to Arthur  being placed on the island of Avalon (I’m using bits and pieces of folklore and literary tales to create my own world). For me, she holds the sword and waits for Arthur or someone to return to her, but is this the only way that she can be? So, I hope you enjoy my ramblings of the lake as I will hopefully continue to have fun writing them.

Written by barryr22

September 29, 2011 at 9:58 pm

True Blood Season 4: The Season Thus Far, *Spoilers*, and My Thoughts

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So, I betting by now all the “Truebies” (their term not mine) out there are thoroughly invested in what is happening within the framework of the supposed “Season of the Witch.” Some of you may be perplexed as to why the season isn’t following the fourth book nearly as well as some of the last seasons, while others may be taking the show on its own merit. Whatever your opinion of the show may be, I think we can all safely say that this may the best season to date as far as not spreading the limelight as it were between several of the peripheral characters and bringing the focus back on the ones that truly matter (i.e. Sookie, Eric, and Bill…and believe me I think that this has been a couple of seasons in the making too because I found myself last season upon my first watch through feeling that the show was becoming disconnected. Yet, now I feel that they are doing a better job of focusing again.) But all my bantering aside, I feel that some things in season 4 are wonderful while others I could just put to the true death and leave it at that.

1) Sookie as a fairy–While I’m glad to some degree that they did make Sookie a little less helpless in the show (sparks from the hands), I do not like the fairy story arc much at all. Why one might ask? Well, I have read the books and the fairies aren’t monsters trying to take Sookie away to their land for all eternity…this in the show is problematic to me (Also, killing Claudine, while it did make for a cute scene with the childlike Eric, bothered me on some level too). Honestly, I am okay if they do nothing more with this storyline because I find it a little ridiculous at times…

2) Tara the Vampire Slayer…of the Scoobie Gang?–I have to admit that I haven’t liked Tara in a while. I know that she’s been through some shit. However, by that same token, I miss the smart ass, sassy Tara from the first season before she gets involved with the vampires and werewolves and maenads (oh my!).  She is someone that I like as a side-kick to Sookie and nothing more…

3) Jason as Ghost Daddy–Again, another storyline that I’m not sure I care about…partially because Hot Shot isn’t the Hot Shot of the book and partially because the character of Crystal Norris annoys the hell out of me (I know that she should; however, I wish I could see a little more depth from the actress playing…). Still, I am liking the conflict caused by the Jessica / Hoyt / Jason triangle that has been formed and expect something pretty spectacular to come of it.

  4) Eric and Sookie– Wanted it to happen from the beginning because Bill has always seemed like a fishy character to me before I found out that he was sent to procure Sookie…Now, I feel that she is with someone who is a little more upfront with her…even though he is a thousand-year old bad ass  with the potential to break her heart in the future.

5) The Witches–I think that this storyline is shaping up to be one of the more interesting antagonistically in the series of seasons. Marney /  Antonia is a pretty hefty villain (except for the incompetent Marney who also happens to be competent…don’t understand this characterization). The fact that they have the power to toast the vampires at will and control them makes them a bit scarier than the Fellowship of the Sun, Mary Anne, Russell Edgington, or any of the other main or sub-villains. I’m hoping that the end of the season is as good as what’s happened thus far.

6) Rotting Pam–As I’ve said before, if Pam dies, I will quit watching the show. However, I don’t think that this is going to happen. I believe that Lafeyette is going to be able to heal all the vampires and others that Marney has affected. But Pam holds a special place in my heart. I hope that she continues to get more screen time throughout the remaining four episodes.

So, there you have it…my thoughts and some of the goings on of season 4. You may have notices that I left off some people like Lafeyette and Sam…I think they are best served as side characters like Tara and should fill that role again…Overall, I hope that True Blood keeps it up because I can’t wait to see where they go with season 5, due to all the changes they have made and will probably keep making…

Written by barryr22

August 19, 2011 at 10:45 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!

Castlevania Lords of Shadow: Afterthoughts *Spoiler Alerts*

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So, I finished the game just hours ago, and I think that I’m going to stick by my previous statements about the game. It’s overall good control-wise and the look of the game is exquisite. Some things were annoying, but I’ll just direct you to my previous blog to deal with these issues. This blog post will be dealing mainly with the story of the game and the possible ramifications of said story. For anyone reading this who might be interested in playing *SPOILER ALERT* from this point on.

So, the end of the game you find out that the main person who’s been helping you the whole game is actually using you as a puppet to assemble his own powerful mask…however, he is being played by none other than Satan himself.  Well, Gabriel, our hero, gets brought back from beyond the grave to stop Satan…epic battle ensues…Gabriel wins (of course) and finds out that the God mask does not truly bring the dead back and that he will never be able to be with his Marie again (tear jerking ending)…*sigh*…however, that’s not the complete ending. If you watch after the credits, you find out that Gabriel has become…*dum, dum, dum*…Dracula, and Zobek (the helper from earlier) is seeking you out to fight against Satan again…also, did I mention this is taking place almost a millenia after the original story?

So, basically, what does all of this mean for the game in general? Well, like I said, it’s a pretty good game. But what does Gabriel becoming Dracula mean? For me, it means one of two things. One, this game is supposed to be a game explaining the birth of Dracula into the Castlevania universe. However, there is a big flaw with this in my mind. The Dracula he is seems nothing like the one from the other games…so, yeah. The second option and possibly the more logical is that Castlevania Lords of Shadow is a reboot of the franchise, and it’s about to get really interesting…

So, I would say to the die-hard fans out there it’s worth a play but expect to scratch your head a little…I just wonder if the next game will continue with this story or if it will go in a completely different direction…

Written by barryr22

December 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm