Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Archive for the ‘Paranormal’ Category

Another Cancelled Television Show that I’m Interested In: ABC’s “The Gates”

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With my introduction to the world of Netflix streaming, I have begun to get invested in shows that I think have interesting premises or that have people in them that I am drawn to. However, the problem I end up having results from attaching myself to shows that were cancelled after the first couple of seasons of their run because the networks they were on didn’t see the viewership that they expected. Given that television is a viewer-based industry, I do understand that they want to cut their loses as soon as possible. Still, many shows have been scraped just when they were starting to get good, which leaves me with what I would call the “hanging universe syndrome.” I am left to wonder what could have happened and to what degree the overall characters would have developed within the framework of the world.

By Netflix [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Recently, I stumbled upon the television show The Gates (2010) which took what a modern dramatic theme and turned it on its head. In the show, the characters live in a gated community called The Gates (go figure), which gives the audience the idea that the main moving force will be the suburban hell that has come to appear in shows such as Desperate Housewives, Suburgatory, etc. Yet as I mentioned earlier, this is turned on its head as we the audience come to find out that the main character Nick Monohan, the new chief of police of the Gates, has brought his family into a community populated by vampires, werewolves, and other creatures of myth and legend. When I read the description on Netflix, I was instantly enamored with the idea of a suburban drama filled with housewives that could literally rip each others throats out. After watching the first few episodes, I was hooked, but it was also then that I noticed the show only had one season of 13 episodes. Immediately, I went to imdb.com (remember I am an imdb addict) and discovered that the show was cancelled. Tonight, I finished the last episode, and now, I want more… however, there isn’t more to have.

What went wrong? The writing wasn’t bad (it wasn’t great… but it’s kind of what you expect from a primetime drama that has vampires, witches, and werewolves), the actors were fairly well suited to the show with Rhona Mitra (Underworld: Rise of the Lycans http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0593961/) and Frank Grillo (Prison Break http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0342029/) leading the pack (ironic usage of language here considering that neither is a werewolf in the show), the special effects were used appropriately and were blended well into the world itself, etc. (I could go on spouting what I like about it… but that isn’t really what I’m trying to do here). Honestly, I think that it was a show with a niche audience that may have come along at the wrong time.  Who really knows (besides the execs)?

All I know is that I found another interesting show that I would recommend to my friends that are looking for something to fill the gap between True Blood seasons or any supernatural show (including the CW’s Supernatural… which is now available on instant streaming for anyone out there who wants to know). The one thing that I would recommend is not getting too attached to the characters or the atmosphere that they try to create because after a brief 13 episodes The Gates  will close for you as they did for me.

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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.

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

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

Scary Movies

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I have always been a fan of scary movies from the time that I was a small child. I don’t know what it is about them that make me want to continue to watch. Do I want to be scared? Do I like the feeling of my heart beating hard in my chest? Honestly, I enjoy a little of both because there is nothing like a good scary movie to get the blood pumping and make you feel antsy while lying in your bed at night. So, for the blogosphere’s pleasure, I am going to give you a ranking of some of my favorite horror movies.

1) Misery. I recently watched this Stephen King adaptation about a superfan who acquires her favorite author and has him write for her. The role of the demented superfan won actress Kathy Bates an academy award (she is wonderfully crazy in the movie). It is the worst nightmare of anyone who has any aspirations in the artistic world. The believability of the movie makes it even more eerie as you think…what if this thing could happen…or has happened before?

2) Scream. The first of the 90’s slasher flicks, this series is fun because of the plausibility. They bring up pop culture with the “movies made me do it” defense and the teenagers killing their classmates. It is creepy and cool. With Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, and cameos by many actresses and actors, these movies came along at the right time. Also, with the fourth movie coming out in 2011, I am going to have to rewatch and enjoy them again.

3) Interview with the Vampire. Based on the novels by Anne Rice, this movie was one of the first to humanize vampires….it’s oddly unnerving when one sees the nuclear family onscreen with two vampire men and a vampire girl. It took the vampire genre to a new level and asked others to bring their product up to the same level (which none really have done)…The characters of Louie, Lestat and Claudia are all very believable from a human perspective and make us question our own humanity as we watch. It leaves us wondering about ourselves and the world that we live in.

4)Orphan. While I saw the ending of this movie from about the middle, I was creeped out when the finally reveile the big secret.  It is the story of a little girl with a trouble past who is adopted by a new family. It just seems that trouble follows her around…What is the deal with her?

5) Nosferatu (1922). Possibly the scariest version of the Dracula story that has ever been brought to film. It is a silent movie that relies on the actors to produce the creepy and scary factors. They do a great job of this considering the technology that they had to work with. Max Schreck makes the skin crawl as Count Orlock. He is inhuman and makes us wonder what might truly be out there in this weird world that we exist in.

I would recommend watching any of these movies if you want to be creeped out, be scared, or be entertained. All of them hold a special place in my Halloween heart, and I hope that you will find yourself crawling into your bed at night with fears of things that go bump in the night. Enjoy!

Supernatural Deals with the Devil *Spoiler Alert*

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So, all of you Supernatural fans out there, tonight is the season finale (as it is scheduled to be). I am on the edge of my seat to see what happens with Sam and Dean. As some of you may know from my earlier posts, I got involved with the show at the end of last year and watched up to the end of season 4 over Christmas break. I was very much enthralled.

Now, they are at the end of the road and must face down the devil. If you’ve been keeping up, over the past season, they have fought the four horsemen of the apocalypse, tangled with the Croatoan virus, met a bevy of gods (little g because they pagans), and have fought with each other to come to this. Tonight, they will face Satan. What will happen as they try to throw him back in the cage that Sam sprung him from. Will they truly be able to do it or will they leave us waiting anxiously for the next season? Silly me, I have already ruined a part of the episode for myself because I read the imdb.com page (don’t read the episode summary unless you want to have something ruined for yourself as well).

As the final minutes and hour up till the “end” count down, I will continue to ponder what is going to happen with this series. Originally, it was slated for only 5 seasons, but with season 6 already promised, it makes me wonder what they might do next. Is Sam really going to be able to trap the devil or is Dean going to have to hunt him in the next season to finish the devil off? Who knows? All I can expect is that this season finale will leave me going “Oh Shit!” just like all the others (hopefully anyway). So, enjoy the show. I know that I will.

Ghosts and Demons and Such

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So, I’m not going to try to slice it any other way…I do believe in the “otherside”…I believe that people “see dead people” and that spirits do walk the Earth…however, don’t get me wrong. I don’t place stock in just anyone when they say that they’ve had interactions with the unknown because let’s face it…just like UFO’s and Bigfoot and Nessy, people make up ghostly/demonly encounters all the time. I mean look at the so-called “Spirit Photography” from the late 19th Century. People took pictures over the already exposed film and passed it off as saying that the “spirits” of their loved ones were in the pictures. Now, this was nothing but camera trickery…

I have also read several books on the spiritual mediums and others of that time that practiced chicanery to fool the unsuspecting commoners into believing in the beyond. As a person, I believe that there are people out there who can contact the other side…whether you believe or not, the majority of people believe in some sort of core component that exists within us. Something that will go on after our impending deaths.

I’ve seen and heard a little too much to completely rule out the idea that we are alone on the physical plane with purely physical beings…this brings me to why I even write about this…tonight I was watching the movie Paranormal Activity and it spurred me to thinking. Why do people poke bears? Now this can be taken in the terms of the spiritual (as I will be discussing it) or the physical.

In the movie, one of the main characters Micah is filming the occurences that happen at his home. In the movie, we find out that his wife is haunted by something that the spiritual sensitive guy thinks is a demon. After finding this out, the guy continues to poke at whatever this thing is…I mean seriously after they found out the thing was a demon (if you consider the movie in the realm of possibilities because it is pitched as a true story) I would have been like…Damn and a few other choice words…then, I would have been searching for someone to deal with the thing…

However, this guy continues to anger the thing by playing with a Ouija Board and keeping on with the filming (which it seems not to like)…at one point, the “thing” breaks a picture of the couple and scratches his face in the picture, pretty much putting a hit out on him…to me, it just seems like after all the shit goes down that the guy would have had better sense than to keep on keeping on…

The same goes for anything else whether it be spirit or not…DON’T POKE THE BEAR…unless you’re willing to lose an arm, a leg, or a life….

Written by barryr22

February 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm