Showing posts from January, 2010

Enough Is Enough

We have reached beyond the saturation point on Vampires. I'm sick of it. I'm thoroughly upset at the current slough of vampires. Ironically, I'm mostly tired of it because all of the vampires are beautiful, misunderstood, just-want-to-be-loved-and-live-a-normal-life vampires, instead of blood thirsty monsters.

In Dracula, by Bram Stoker, the Count is an old man (although, granted, he youthens as the story progresses) who is not at all attractive. His fangs are visible, he has hairy palms, is mostly bald, and is extremely pale. He often flies into rages that are terrible to behold. While, even with his horrible exterior, he still manages to convey an appeal to women (probably his confidence, power, and predatory pheromones), many of them are slightly repulsed by him when they first see him.

But, in the end, Dracula is a predator and a villain, killing people with nearly wanton abandon. You must cut off his head AND stake him through the heart to kill this beast. (As an intere…

The Dresden Files

I watched the TV show on Sci-Fi and enjoyed it and was disappointed when they decided not to continue it. I recently took the next step and found that the show was based on a series of books written by James Butcher. I asked my wife to get me the first book from the library, and then started absolutely devouring them.

The premise is this: There is a private investigator in Chicago who advertises himself as a Wizard. He actually weilds magic of the most elemental sort-- he can fling fireballs and stir up windstorms and protect people with a nearly invisible shield of force. He works with the Chicago PD on all of the strange, fringe cases where the people are threatened by those from "his world;" i.e., vampire attacks, fairy incursions, other spellcasters doing diabolical things, etc.

The thing I like most about the books is that the they are written in the first person. This means you are always in the mind of Harry Dresden. You learn what he learns and figure out the mystery a…


Acting is one of those things that, unless you see it done badly, you don't often notice. Last night, my wife and a friend went with me to watch a touring production of Camelot, one of my favorite musicals. While everyone in the cast was proficient with the singing (and a couple of standouts) and everyone said the lines, every last one of them was flat and without any emotional context.

Now, you have to know that I own the DVD of the Richard Harris version of Camelot. I've also seen a video of him doing the role on Broadway. I've watched the Richard Burton version. When Camelot came to the San Bernardino Civic Light Opera starring John Cullum (who was starring in Northern Exposure at the time), I went to a matinee.

When Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave are singing "What do the Simple Folk Do?" to each other, you get the sense of their longing to make amends and move closer, and their frustration with not being able to. In last night's production, the most em…

Movie Round Up, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire 3/01
An excellent film. The acting is a bit raw and natural, the story is well told and the pacing is superb. I love how certain questions the protagonist doesn't know at all, but the other questions he knows because of the story elements shown the audience. Definitely deserved the accolades it received and was one of last year's best.

The Wrestler 3/05
Another excellent film. This is a smaller scope picture, and that works. Rourke, an actor I actively dislike, was excellent as the aging, down on his luck wrestler just trying to get it right and live his life. I loved the behind the scenes footage of how the wrestling world works, much of it using real wrestlers. I'm not sure about the ending, still; it works, but I would have liked to see the story take a different direction at the end.

Watchmen 3/06
I think this film was made before its time. As the years go on and people come back to it, I have a feeling it will gain in popularity with both comic book gee…

Random Thoughts

1. I hate it when I'm so tired I can't keep my eyelids up/open, yet I cannot fall asleep. It is 3:30 am and I am exhausted... but can't sleep. All the usual tricks and tips haven't worked yet so far.

2. We had over a foot of snow fall on us in about a 12-13 hour period of time. It is remarkable to see that much snow accumulate on the ground and collect on the deck and porch. What was more amazing is that, after shoveling the walk down to asphalt, not 10 minutes later it was covered in a 1 inch dusting. Unfortunately, this is not good snow-fort or snow-man building snow... too light and fluffy. Sigh.

3. has improved a great deal. Strangely enough, they did this improvement by becoming a free game. Not often that you don't spend money to make money, but it worked. The micro-transaction system is not horrible, either, and there is a ton of good content for those who don't want to pay either a monthly or micro-transaction fee. Good word of mouth is bringing m…