Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘vampires

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!

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 uncannynerdyguy

December 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Castlevania Lords of Shadow

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A few days ago, I began this game. Thus far, I have a few evaluations that I can make about it as of right now. As a big fan of the franchise (I’ve played them since the NES), I find a few things odd about this game. While it takes a look at Gabriel Belmont, one of the first of the Belmont clan, the game itself does not revolve around the Castle Dracula like the other games do. On the contrary, you begin a journey that spans across the country hunting down the Lords of Shadow (big bad evil people) in order to restore the balance to the world and bring back you wife from beyond the grave. This all sounds good in theory and the game’s story is pretty okay for the most part.

As far as the graphics and overall look of the game, I’m impressed thus far. From the contours in our hero’s face to the rocky crags and crumbling ruins of castles, the game is beautiful. I’m playing it on XBox 360 and believe me when I first popped it in I was thrilled by the overall look of the game. The main characters and enemies looks are varied and the locales are engrossing and crisp. It feels like they could come out of the game and exist elsewhere. For me, it rivals the best of Square Enix’s games (we’re talking about the Final Fantasy franchise) in terms of the overall look and appeal of the game visually. The one thing I dislike is the fixed camera angle. I really wish they would have given us free reign simply to make the gameplay easier. As it stands, you get caught in the camera angle at times when large enemies are attacking / killing you.

As far as the story goes, it’s pretty much the classic Castlevania “the evil forces have taken / killed my wife and now I’m seeking to save her” plot. Till this point in the game, I have not encountered anything (and I’m on the second disc) that has made me go “Oh shit, I did not see that coming.” The story is decent and nothing more really. Also, I have a qualm with it lacking the Dracula character who is the central villain of the other games…thus far, I have not even heard whispers of this figure, and I’m almost positive that he will not even make a cameo appearance which makes me sad. However, this is not to say that the game is completely lacking of vampires because frankly that’s not true. Around 20 levels are didicated to a castle board that is filled with vampires, ghouls, skeletons and the like with a vampire lord at the end to be destroyed.

Gameplay is a bit rough sometimes. It’s hard to make Gabriel do exactly what I want him to do all the time. From the sticks on the controller being a bit to sensitive for my taste to other technical issues like that, Gabriel seems to have a mind of his own sometimes and thereby puts the gamer in sticky situations…it’s no fun to be in a heated boss battle needing to attack, but all of a sudden,  Gabriel starts absorbing neutral orbs (I will admit this is partially my fault as the gamer, however, its happening several times makes me believe that it’s also a command/button placement issue). Additionally, the mechanics of the game are a bit spotty such as falling from heights sometimes you’re fine from a 40 feet drop other times you die from falling 10 feet. It’s problematic.

Overall, I would give the game a 7 / 10 at this point in gameplay (I’m about to kill the lord of the vampires) because it’s a fun ride with decent controls. I’ve also played the other 3-D Castlevania games and this one is the best by far because they have ironed out some of the defects that hurt the previous games. With the fixed camera angle and clichéd story being held against it, I think that I would give it better. However, I’m not judging it completely. I’ll give you my final verdict when I finish the game.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

December 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Interview with the Vampire: The Movie

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As you can probably tell from my blog, Anne Rice is one of my favorite authors, and her vampire chronicles are some of my favorite books (due to the vampire connection…also great characters and good plots…but yeah…). Anyway, recently I rewatched the movie from 1994. . .I have to say that it is a well done vampire film that deserves to rank among the top vampire films of all time. Why you may ask? Well, give me some time, and I’ll explain it to you.

1) Anne Rice wrote the screenplay. Whereas most book to film adaptations suck, Anne Rice effectively transfers the heart, soul, and life-blood of her narrative into the movie. It is one of the few adaptations that I have watched and felt pleased after the fact. I think this is due to the active participation of the author in creating the written dialogue.

2) The actors are amazing. I don’t know that any vampire movie that I have ever watched has the all-star cast of this one. With Tom Cruise as Lestat, Brad Pitt as Louis, and Kirsten Dunst as Claudia, the main characters are acted superbly. Brad Pitt captures the innocence and conflict of Louis. Cruise plays the charismatic and manipulative Lestat with wonderful effect. Finally, Dunst as Claudia is the cherry on top of the creepy sundae. With Stephen Rea (Santiago), Christen Slater (the Interviewer), and Antonio Banderas (Armand) rounding out the cast, the story comes alive in a way that only Neil Jordan (the director) and Anne Rice could have dreamed.

 

3) The human qualities of Anne Rice’s vampires have always intrigued me. Her vampires are not really supernatural creatures. Rather, they are just flawed human beings that end up being cursed (or blessed) to live for a long time. This longevity amplifies their human characteristics and makes them more vulnerable and more apt to fall. They exemplify our worst fears of what we might become…or what we might be…they are the mirror of ourselves…

While this movie may never be regarded as high brow, I will continue to love it. It is one of those movies that I can watch over and over again and fins something new each time I watch. Will I see Lestat in the “Theatre des Vampires?” Will Claudia be less of a little demon child?…I search for such questions each time knowing what will happen…but maybe I will watch the film a little differently each time…If you’re looking for a good vampire movie (and for God sakes nothing like Twilight or any of those movies), I would suggest that you go out and find this one.

For more info on the movie check out this IMDB link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110148/

Halloween Costumes that I’m not Excited to See

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As Halloween gets closer, I begin to think of Halloween costumes. Mainly, I am focusing on what I want to be…and believe me this is a tall order because I try to go for interesting and odd costumes that have varying purposes but enough about me. I’ve been thinking about it the last few days and realized some of the costumes that we might see from people who are caught up in the fads of the here and now.

1) The Mad Hatter and other Alice in Wonderland characters. Good God, I hope that I don’t see a bevy of these characters this Halloween…even though, I know that I will. Due to the success of the movie and it being one of Johnny Depp’s eccentric characters, I feel that the Mad Hatter will be a staple for both children and adults. Why? I don’t really understand…quite frankly, I thought it was a mediocre performance in a movie that was only okay (I can hear the comments from Johnny Depp fans now…and it’s already grating). I don’t see why people would want to imitate this…and do so poorly. Let’s face it. No matter how good of a makeup artist you are, the local Halloween costumes and makeup from your local Walgreen’s or Wal-Mart cannot make you look like the professional quality Mad Hatter from the film (you also have to take digital effects into account too).

2) Avatar. You are not a blue alien from another planet…why pretend to be one and do it poorly. James Cameron’s movie was pretty amazing visually. The Na’vi are a computer generated race. I don’t know that a professional, movie make-up crew could effectively do it…so, I don’t know that we as normal people who have not experience in turning others into creatures could. Don’t get me wrong…I wish we could transform ourselves, but we can’t.  So, get over it and move on. Also, please don’t try to be a Na’vi who is skinny and be a 300 pound person in a loin cloth…it just doesn’t bode well…

3) Edward and Bella. It doesn’t take much to look like a douchey vampire “teen” and his emotionally dead piece of meat…that’s all I’m saying. They have an unhealthy relationship and just because you think it’s a beautiful love story doesn’t make it okay. If I see people dressed like this and they are sincere about wearing the costumes, I will heckle them…yeah…

So, there you have it. On Halloween when I go to my door or to Halloween Parties, I will be on the look out for such costumes. I will try my best to avoid you, but if you persist in trying to chat with me, I might have to tell you like it is…Sorry.

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!

True Blood: A Quandary *Spoiler Alert*

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Yesterday, I watched the finale of season 3 of True Blood and was curious about how they chose to end the season. The multi-cliffhanger ending really wasn’t a good step for the show in my opinion. However, who am I to say what will work or what will not.

In the show, I am glad that they spared Russell Edgington because I like him as a progressive villain. If they had wasted him this early, I would have felt left down in the storyline. He is an interesting character that they have created, and I want to know what they plan on doing with him in the future. Let’s face it; he is not going to stay locked in that cement for very long.

I’m glad that the whole thing with Bill being a deceitful bastard finally aired out. I don’t like Bill…he is a shell of a vampire. I don’t necessarily want to see him die (as in the fight between him and Sophie Anne); however, he is one of those vampires that I don’t care for as much because he is whiny and lackluster.

The whole Sookie going to be with the fairies thing does not set with me. I don’t like the whole thing…I don’t know what exactly is going to happen because they are playing fast and loose with the books. I am wondering what the hell they are planning on doing with the books as a whole…are they planning on following the books or are they divulging from the storyline entirely.

Honestly, these are my gut shot reactions to the finale…I don’t know what is going to happen. However, when Bill said to kill Pam, my heart sank, and I thought that would be the end of the finale. I was glad that they proceeded to screw all the characters’ personalities in the show…I wonder what their thoughts are for the next season. Will they go with what the books predict or will it be something else?

Written by uncannynerdyguy

September 18, 2010 at 10:45 pm

“Humans” in Sci-fi and Fantasy TV

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In the past year, I have been introduced to several shows in which the human beings seem like monsters and the creatures in the shows seem to be the most human. True Blood and Battlestar Galactica are two of the show I am speaking about. In these shows, there is quite an obvious distinction between the humans and non-humans, especially in the eyes of the human characters. It’s a classic case of prejudice.

In True Blood, the vampires, shifters and other creatures are oftentimes looked down on by the other characters in the show because they are different. The shifters are viewed as lower life forms by the vampires because they aren’t nearly as good of supernatural creatures as them. They aren’t as strong or fast. However, they can pass as humans and aren’t under the prejudice of the “normal” people. However, later in the book series, *SPOILER ALERT* the shifters come out to the community just as the vampires did and are met with massive scrutiny and prejudice too. They are killed and tortured because the world does not understand them.

The vampires of True Blood are also treated in a similar manner. The vampires are treated poorly because people think they drink human blood. While this is true for some of them, not all of them do this. They are all stereotyped into the blood-thirsty, human killing monsters. Bill, Eric and some of the others actually seem more human than some of the human characters. For instance, when Eric’s maker proposes to kill himself, the viewer sees him break down as a child lamenting his “father.” Bill loves a mortal girl (some might say for the wrong reasons, but he does fall in love with her after the fact). Jessica is a mixed up baby vampire. Their humanity is exemplified because they are not human (Whereas the human characters’ problems seem to be less than fantastical because they are normal).

In Battlestar Galactica, you are introduced to the cyborg race of the Cylons. Throughout the series, the humans revile them because they tried to commit the total genocide of the human race. However, they acted mainly out of fear themselves making a preemptive strike because they lived for years with an uneasy peace with the humans. Before that, they were enslaved to the humans because they had created the Cylons. Over the course of the series, several of the start to become human as they interact with humanity. They seek to understand how to be “human.” As in the first episode, one of the 6’s breaks the neck of a small baby as she exams it.

 

In the show, these groups are ostracized and forced to be on the outskirts of society because of their differences. However, is it really that we as humans cannot take the mirror being held up to ourselves? They are human analogs which we use to places these fears of the unknown within ourselves onto. The people inside their universes don’t really fear them. They fear becoming them. They fear being so human that they lose themselves into the abyss of the other.

Written by uncannynerdyguy

September 17, 2010 at 8:34 pm

The Vampires of True Blood *Spoilery Things*

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I am interested in vampires in literature and the media. Anyone I know can tell you this about me…It’s one of the quirks that makes me who I am. So, I think that it’s only appropriate that I discuss the vampires of True Blood a little. What makes them tick and what differentiates them from the other “vampires” that exist in fiction today.

1) They exist on synthetic blood that was produced by the Japanese. It wasn’t until I started reading the Sookie Stackhouse Series or watching True Blood on HBO that I had remotely heard of this idea. I honestly think that it’s kind of brilliant. Why? The overarching idea that now vampires can exist without feeding on other living beings is actually a fun issue to tackle within the framework of any narrative.

They can potentially live off of the stuff. However, for the ones that are thousands of years old, will they actually make the change or continue to be the thief in the night? It also brings up a new level of discrimination amongst species (I don’t particularly see the vampire in fiction or folklore as “human” anymore while they still do have human likeness and tendencies). Even though they are more powerful physically and evolutionarily, the people in the books and the show have an immense hatred of the undead.

I think this is interesting because it brings up these political and social issues that still exist in the world today. However, it makes it easier to deal with the ideas and emotions because we are dealing with something that has never lived…er…been dead….or whatever.

2) The structure of the vampire political system is quite interesting. While in the television show they have dumbed it down significantly to make things less confusing for the masses, the vampire hierarchy is fairly well thought out. In the books, it is made clear that there are vampires who are more and less politically powerful. A sheriff is the lowest form of the ruling body, and they rule over sectors of the fiefs that they live in. There are kings and queens who rule over vampire populated areas. Now, in the show, they have shown all this but what they have not discussed is the fact that the kings/queens may rule over something as small as a city or sections of a state depending on vampire saturation. For example, the city of New York would have its own king/queen whereas New York state would still have a ruler.

I also like that the kings/queens while they rule over the sheriffs have to go through them before they conduct business in the sheriffs’ areas. This is why in the books Sophie-Anne is actually Queen of Louisiana and is the sheriff of the area in which she resides. This way she doesn’t have ask anyone before she does anything in her area. While the show doesn’t make this sort of thing clear, I believe that they have done a fairly decent job thus far of showing the powers of the kings and queens as with them requiring other vampires to stay (Eric the end of season 2) or kidnapping another vampire (Russell with Bill at the end of Season 2/Beginning of Season 3).

3) The detachment of the vampires from the natural world. Even the shape shifters and weres are still considered human in the grand scheme of things. Why? Because they aren’t “walking dead people” as Arlene so eloquently puts it in the series. They are able to blend in and completely be assimilated (other than the fact that they have higher temps than humans and heal faster).

The vampires now cannot fully appear human. Why? People are looking for them. When they were only superstition (Stevie Wonder songs pops into my head immediately…for no real reason…just because of the word mention), humanity laughed at the shadows and feared what they saw in horror films. With the “Great Revelation” of the vampires, it opened them up to the world. In the books and show, they constantly use the term “coming out of the coffin.” This event has complicated their existence of the shadows. Now, the light of some flickering fluorescent lamp has exposed them. Still, vampires like Bill (although he is trying to appear more human and less vampire like) have tried to matriculate into mainstream society and make humans less afraid.

In the series, characters like Nan Flanagan try to show the world that the vampires are not wicked or corrupt that they can peacefully coexist with mortals. However, even Nan has her own scary face that she shows to only the vampire world. This face that she puts up proves that vampires can’t truly be themselves around the human populous but must maintain that distance of looking better and more friendly than they are in reality.