Bleh with Barry

Random with a cynical twist of lime.

Posts Tagged ‘werewolves

Writing My Novel Part 1: The Basics of Things

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So over the course of this summer, I have taken my first venture into the writing of long form fiction. Now, this has been something of a task for me because I’m used to writing short stories and poetry; thereby, I create characters and set them free on the ocean of 2k -7k words. However, as my novel stands at around 50k words, I have invested a large amount of time and writing space for my characters and the premise of the story I’m going to tell. This post is to give a little insight into what I’ve been doing… here goes.

Premise: In the year 2042, the world turns all its nuclear warheads on each other and destroys the world in a cataclysmic event that causes the surface of the Earth to be uninhabitable to the humans that survived. (Matter-of-factly, I have written a short snippet that deals with this, which I hope to expand too.)  However, even as the human race is driven underground, the Eight monster races of the world (and some of their mutated offspring which don’t constitute a new race per say) which have existed in the shadows alongside humans come to power under the dust cloud covering the sun and making the Earth habitable for them. All Eight species try to live in harmony with one another, but like all those with power, peaceful cohabitation may not be possible… Enter our protagonist and her allies and enemies several hundred years after the great cataclysm…

The Eight Races (The races and a fun fact about them):

Vampires–Some feed on the  blood of the other seven… which is frowned and punishable by death. This is why it’s kept secret if they do. Others feed off the cultivated herds of mutant animals that they tend.

Weres— Werewolves and the like (there are more than just werewolves). They are called werebeasts by the other Seven races, which is a derogatory term… Prefer to be called Weres.

Arcane— The witches of folklore and legend who command external forces. In large covens, they have been known to shift the clouds and control the weather. Using their magic causes them to age physically; however, their youth can be recovered by focusing their magic toward rejuvenation.

The Fae— Similar to the witches in terms of their magical nature, yet they additionally are physically strong despite their lanky appearances. Known to be very beautiful. Their Queen is the Titania of lore. . .she rules them with a doll that contains the soul of Oberon, whom she trapped there so she should never be alone. Some call her the mad queen…

Elementals— Beings of immense power. Embody certain elements in a physical and magical way so that they become living fire, ice, shadow, etc. However, they can look human. Widely varying levels of power exist among them. Some are so weak that they barely exist. . .others can rend the Earth.

Harpies— One of the few flying creatures in the new world order. They are all covered in a fine layer of feathers that both protects them and streamlines them for flight. They are pack creatures that hunt, attack, and destroy creatures much more powerful than them through their group dynamic.

Infernals— Also called Demons by the other races. Usually remain in their monstrous / demonic form complete with flaming spectral wings and horns. They mostly appear to be genderless. Their ruler Bilge is known in the Christian Bible as Legion but not because he’s multiple demons…

Celestials— Called Angels by most creatures’ standards, they are additionally known as Valkyrie, goddesses, and more. Deemed by most of the other Seven (the Infernals won’t consent) to be the most powerful of the races, they are usually seen as the peace keepers because they can keep the others at bay. Have a club in the remnants of Carnegie Hall named “Heaven”.

There are other mutant species that exist that occur as splinter forms of the main groups… for instance, there are a few harpies that call themselves furies because they have acquired slightly different forms and powers. Hence, the variation of monsters throughout history.

Protagonist: Sadie is a highborn vampire who is relatively young by vampire standards (almost 2000 years old at the beginning). In addition to her youth, she is also plain by vampiric standards, which causes her purpose to be a little clouded. At first, she is just trying to find out from higher authorities what her destiny is, but inadvertently, she stumbles into a war that she finds herself at the epicenter of all because she chose to put on a necklace.

So there you have it, a little bit of insight into what it is that I’ve been writing. While I know that I’m being vague to a degree, I hope that my future posts will enlighten you  more. Maybe this will entice you to read more, even as I head to my 85k word count goal.

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“The Munsters” Get Revived as Bryan Fuller’s “Mockingbird Lane”

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By CBS Television (eBay item photo front publicity release) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I love the macabre, monsters, and other things like that. So it will come as no surprise upon hearing that Bryan Fuller of Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me fame will be rebooting The Munsters (1964) on NBC as Mockingbird Lane. While Fuller himself admits that the show will be a reboot of sorts, he additionally allows that it will not be your parents’ (or grandparents’… I guess some people are old enough…) television show. Instead, the show will act as a revision to the previous source material (no neck bolts, Bela Lugosi costumes, etc.) and will build a new continuity.

If you’re familiar with Fuller’s work, you will know that he has a knack for dark comedy and quirkiness that will be an added addition to the world of our favorite monsters. Moreover, his aesthetic will be wonderful when it comes to painting and creating the world that these favorites of ours will inhabit.  Honestly, I’m excited to see what Fuller does with this series simply because I love his body of work and I loved the original version of the show from the 60s.

Starring:

Herman Munster– Jerry O’Connell

Lily– Portia de Rossi

Grandpa– Eddie Izzard

Marilyn– Charity Wakefield

Eddie– Mason Cook

While some of the casting choices seem a bit odd to me (*cough* Jerry O’Connell *cough*), I think that overall it’s a relatively strong cast. My overall favorite casting choice would be Eddie Izzard as Grandpa. To me, he is the right fit for the snarky and fun character that is Grandpa. . .Moreover, he’s a fabulous actor overall too.

Anyway, here’s hoping that the final product is good. I know that I’ll be tuning in to see what happens. Still, I have faith in Fuller and the cast that has assembled (that feels like an Avengers joke… not intentional… but whatever). Here’s hoping that writing, filming, and editing goes well so that we’ll get to see this new gem in the fall. I await it with neck bared.

For more information, check out this interview with Bryan Fuller by James Hibberd.

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.

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

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.

Sookie’s Milkshake Brings All the Supes to the Yard

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So, I’ve recently been reading a lot of the Sookie Stackhouse books and watching the new season of True Blood and a question popped into my mind. What is it about Sookie Stackhouse that make all sorts of supernatural creatures fall in line to die for her. I mean seriously, it’s a veritable who’s who of creatures that begin to interact with Sookie as the books go on (and the series if they decide to keep making it).

*SPOILER ALERT*

If any of you have read the books or watched the show, you know that everyone asks what is “different” about Sookie or “What are you?” They seem to be popular questions that are haphazardly answered within the framework of the narrative. First, Sookie is attractive by mortal standards. She’s blonde, has a tan, and has enough bosom to go around. She is the ideal American woman (kinda coming across as a bit of a “Barbie” in some ways).  These looks keep getting continually enhanced by the vampire blood that she consumes throughout the course of the books. All this would make her attractive in some sense. However, it does not explain the corpses, dust, and muck of the creatures that seem to keep laying down their lives for her.

Two, if you’ve read the books, you know that Sookie is at least partially fairy. In the books, the fairies are a race that humans find intoxicatingly beautiful and are drawn to. The vampires and some other supes find their scent irresistible. The would love nothing better than to snack on a fairy. Yet, even with this factoring in, does Sookie have enough fairy in her to tip the scales to her favor? The reason I say this it the fact that not all the supernatural creatures seem to notice her in the same way that others do. The vampires seem to have an attraction to her. However, this may all be a pissing contest as to who can nail the human and have her telepathic powers to themselves. The weres have an attraction to her because she seems fresh and otherworldly. The fairies know that she is part fairy…it’s just an increasing conundrum of what might cause this loyalty to a mere mortal.

While everyone agrees that Sookie is something more than human, I am not inclined to believe that she is simply attractive because she is partially fairy. This ideal does not seem to connect all the dots for me. It seems like to quick and reasonable of an answer to deal with the larger idea that is floating about that Charlaine and HBO have not touched yet. Is she going to be something that is exceptionally rare in the world? Or will she turn out to be just a sheer victim of circumstance? I don’t know. However, I am interested to see what happens as the show and the books continue to be produced.