Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh, The Horror! #7: 30 Days of Night

So... 30 Days of Night... film based on the graphic novel by Steve Niles and the magnificent Ben Templesmith. Where it becomes night for 30 days in Alaska and vampires decide to take advantage. Sounds like a great idea for a movie, only downside is... well... it's a boring movie. Not just boring- it's boring as hell. I mean... what the heck happened? I've read how faithful the movie was to the book and most of the stuff that made the book such a blast to read are gone. In the book, the vampires had more personality and seemed a lot more... deadly and scary. It was just an absolute thrill ride. But the movie just dragged and dragged. I missed the aspect of the story where it was a plan by a certain vampire who wanted to impress the main baddie but ends up getting killed for his "stupidity" of the plan. There were also unnecessary changes such as the relationship between Eben and Stella. I preferred them as a loving couple than being separated. The changed served no purpose whatsoever.

Now, there were some stuff I did like about the movie. For one I loved the bird shot that went around town showing the vampires causing mayhem. Also loved Ben Foster. Ben Foster is a blast to watch in a lot of movies for me. Also, it was a lil' cool seeing most of the vampires looking as if they came from the comic themselves. Other than that, everything falls flat. Definitely not a movie I would watch again or even fall asleep on.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Oh, The Horror! # 6: The Bad Seed

You know how you have a family member who everyone loves and adores because he or she is so darn perfect with a perfect smile but deep down inside he or she is really a cold blooded killer? Yeah, you know what I'm talking about, all of us has that one family member. Well, this movie basically tells the tale of a mother whose loving husband had gone away to military duty and is left with their perfect and adoring daughter, Rhoda. At the beginning we see that dear Rhoda is upset at losing a school contest to a classmate. Later, we find out that the kid had drowned and Rhoda shows no sign of puzzlement or sadness. This starts the downward spiral as the mother starts to suspect her daughter of killing the boy as more deaths start to happen to help her enforce that theory. This then lies the mystery of just how does a mother deal with a child killer of only 8 years old and what does she do as a mother who loves her child and at the same time in turmoil over the victims. There's a lot more to the story that is revealed but it's a little hard to discuss it and not spoil the movie. It's definitely a movie that holds up really well and is worth a watch. I had the DVD for quite a month or so and finally watched it with a best friend of mine. I must say, though, that the ending came up as a rather shocking surprise. While my friend had her hand to her mouth, I gave out a huge laugh and could not stop as my friend's mouth was wide for a good few minutes after it ended.

The performances are stellar! Patty McCormack as "innocent" Rhoda is engaging to watch as she walks around as the spoiled brat you'd want to to beat down with a leather belt if she were your child. Nany Kelly as Christine is as engaging as McCormack, really showcasing fantastic acting of a mother being driven insane by her daughter's actions. The actress who really steals a bit of the show is Eileen Heckart who plays Mrs. Daigle, the drunk mother of the child who Rhoda kills.

For the pour souls who have yet to see this movie, do check it out. It is worth the watch and I as I've mentioned before, it holds up well. Shows us that we don't need a supernatural element to prove that a child can be downright evil and creepy.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Dark Visual of Gotham City (Paper I wrote for my first film class)

This is a paper I had to write for my first film class during my first semester in college. We were suppose to find a movie and write about the symbolisms and music and sets and everything else is connected to the film and how it has to do with the story. We were heavily forbidden to even mention any piece of dialogue. I got a really great grade for this paper compared to some of my peers who were even shocked that I got a grade for this movie than the "serious" films they picked. Heh... all I did was follow directions.

I decided to add some pictures since I love some pics and I'm putting this on the blog and all. Spoilers for those who have yet to see this movie (if you haven't seen this, you been living under a rock?!)

Batman Returns (1992) directed by Tim Burton

Dark Visual of Gotham City

Batman Returns is the sequel to the blockbuster hit, Batman, about a man devoted to protecting his city from crime. Like the first film, he is attempting to stop the plans of criminals of his corrupted city, Gotham, this time being Penguin and Catwoman. Being that this film is set during the Christmas holiday, the time of family and getting together and being happy, none of the main characters seem to be part of a real family due to them having plans of their own. In fact, it seems that all of the main characters are in fact very psychotic. Throughout the film, the movie is very big and circus-like which gives it a rather dark and creepy feel to a film that doesn’t seem to have much of a redeeming factor. An aspect that depicts just how bizarre this film is is the music that is provided by Danny Elfman. The opening of the film is very choir and childlike. The circus and child choir sounds is always played for the Penguin, representing his lost childhood. Batman’s theme is the typical strong, trumpet and horns playing music, introducing the knight and hero of the story, while Catwoman’s theme has a very twisted and chaotic sound to it, representing her state of mind. The name of this track is Selina Transforms.

The song starts off with haunting violin sounds that twirls in what seems to be zigzag angles as you could picture something spine-chilling is about to emerge. As the music picks up, you start to follow the melodic ride that ends up bringing you to clashing sounds and soft bangs that adds to the gothic and insane sounds that Elfman produces for the Selina Kyle character. As the music keeps going, the song cuts into a bridge that intensifies the song as the pace of the music gets faster with a weirder sound until finally returning to its normal sound and pace. The song slowly ends as Elfman plays around softly and mystically with the violins and ends the track. This track here shows you how demented and confused the character of Catwoman is as the movie goes on, a woman caught between what is right and wrong as one minute she is good, the other she is just outlandish. She starts of as a lowly secretary who is usually ridiculed by her boss because of her position as a woman. Finally, after reaching her limit, she goes berserk and becomes a subject of female empowerment. She goes from a boring, typical woman with no respect to a bombshell who goes out and wears a tight black vinyl suit, revealing much of her body figure.

Now, her costume happens to be one of the most subtle and fascinating parts of her as a character. In a way, the stitched parts of her costume represent her stitched way of mind as she placed together a new piece of herself to show to people. When she first makes her costume, she is comfortable and compact in her new form as a woman as she begins to appear very calm and cool in her skin. As the movie goes on, her mind begins to deteriorate in a very chaotic way as her costumed falls apart along with her towards the end. By seeing how torn apart her costume is, you are able to realize just have broken her mind really was as a character at that point of time during the film.

Besides the main characters, the lighting and visuals of the film gives us that creepy atmosphere of a lost city. The movie concentrates highly on black and white, giving it a very noir look, with a bit of color here and there. Catwoman and Penguin seem to have very ghastly white skin, while a majority of the costume sets are simply black. Every building is very big and extravagant and filled with civilians. The tone really adds a feel that with all the civilians in the street and the way the dimly lit light shows in the picture, you get a sense of feeling that if you were to walk to a dark corner, chances are you would either be robbed or killed. In the very beginning of the movie, a circus gang is shown terrorizing people, shooting around, and attempting to kidnap millionaires. If the lighting were brighter, everyone wore a color set of clothing this film wouldn’t be able to capture just how strange and gloomy the city of Gotham really is. Stated earlier, the feel of the movie gives a sense that there simply is no redeeming factor in this city. Among all the black and grays, the only thing that lights up the picture of the film is usually the white snow that falls from time to time.

Once again, for a Christmas movie, it’s a bit of the opposite of the feel good holidays. But the Christmas season of the film also provides a feel of belonging and comfort, something that all the main characters seem to want. Batman, the strong and loner type meets Catwoman and they both fall in love with each other, wanting to be of comfort, but remember, this is Gotham City. The music also adds a nice dimension to their characters when they are together, as Elfman mixes their two musical scores together, showing just how easily the two characters fit together, but at the same time showing how different they are, with Batman’s trumpet and horns playing next to the very distorted and screeching violins of Catwoman. Penguin also has his unhappy ending, leaving behind who he considers his babies, his little penguin army, and also Max Shreck, the villain behind all the madness in this film, dies, leaving behind his son. In the end, everyone ends up being lonely and losing someone, making it very unhappy ending for a fairytale type and holiday film.

From the very beginning of the movie, you can be aware of what type of movie that you are going to end up seeing. There are two scenes that foreshadow events that are going to happen in this movie, and by looking closely on how those two scenes play out, you can see that there are going to be very unhappy events for certain characters. The first scene has a baby Penguin locked up in a cage by his parents, where he ends up grabbing his pet cat and killing her, foreshadowing later in the film when Penguin kills Catwoman. The other foreshadowing scene is when Batman saves Selina from a mugger. Selina finds a taser and delightfully electrocutes the knocked out mugger, showing Selina’s mindset in the beginning on her conduct to get revenge from all the men who hurt or “kill” her.

In the end, director Tim Burton perfectly captures the corrupted city of crime and the citizens of it, all very broken and lost and fraudulent just as the city they inhabit. The set pieces are all very dark; snow and setting of the Christmas season giving in a ghastly and ghostly feel, with the childlike kooky music adding to the complexity of the characters. Everyone in this movie is just plain bizarre, and Burton finds a way to prove just how out of the ordinary life in Gotham City is in his own gothic style.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Neil Gaimen Quote: Love

I stumbled upon this online. I know it's by Neil Gaimen but which book is this from? Or is it even from a book? Can anyone help me? But anywho, it's definitely one of the best things I've read and very painful, mostly because it's darn true.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it?

It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...you give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore.

Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness. So simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt; a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain.

I hate love.”

Oh Nooo!!! Black People in my Comics!!!!

This was one of the first things I wrote for my comic column over at The Bludnet. This was around the time when Dwayne McDuffie was just starting to write Justice League of America for D.C. and in the book were four black characters: Vixen, John Stewart, Black Lightning, and Firestorm. I stumbled upon posts saying how McDuffie had an agenda because the team had a group of black people and they were conversing and obviously McDuffie had an agenda in favoritism due to them being black. Anyway, this entry tackled other things that bugged me about the crap black creators and characters and readers go through in the comic biz. It's an entry I'm proud of and got quite a few comments on.

But yes, here it is, do tell me what you think, etc...

Oh Nooo!!! Black People in my Comics!!!!

Black LightningI was surfing through the internet today and I ran across a site where a poster was criticizing Dwayne McDuffie due to him bringing John Stewart into the JLA simply because the character was black, the same color skin of McDuffie. And not only that, but McDuffie was also bringing in the new Firestorm who is also black! Oh no! And on top of that, we already have two black people on the team, them being Vixen and Black Lightning. So apparently, since we already had two black folks on the team, it HAD to be enough. But no, McDuffie is trying to force blackness down the readers throats and in due time everyone on the team will be black and we will have a Black JLA!!! Now, here’s where I ask, when Joss Whedon announced his team of Astonishing X-Men, where were the people yelling agenda because he was writing people who has his skin color? When Bendis established his team of Mighty Avengers, where were the same people bashing Bendis for having an all white team and having an agenda? If anything, I – a black reader - should be complaining about having them shove a team of only white people down my throat.

Another critique I saw of McDuffie’s work was from his recent mini series Damage Control. And of course, our fellow writer is being attacked because he has a black character as a main character. C’mon, now, are you serious? The thing I find so funny in all this is that the same people bashing this are the same ones first to say, “I’m not racist!” Then what are you then? Why is it that when Brad Meltzer brings in Roy into the JLA, it’s alright? If Whedon brings back Colossus, it’s all fine. When Meltzer brings in Black Lightning to the team, it’s actually quite alright! But! BUT if a black writer, like McDuffie, writes a black character in his work, it’s entirely “forced” and “PC.” When it comes to the comic world, a character that is black must have a purpose to be black. Why is that? Can someone give me the answer? Why is it that when a character of a different race other than white is created, there must be a specific reason why they must be that race or else the character is just there for political correctness? So the fact that I am on this Earth is simply because life is trying to be PC and therefore my existence is forced because the default race is white and that should reflect in comics as well. Of course, it makes total sense now!

White writers are constantly creating new characters, and the majority of them are white. It’s a fact. Of course, there are exceptions. I mean, duh! Where would all those other black heroes come from? We have one of my absolute favorites, Blade created by Marv Wolfman. Luke Cage by Archie Doodwin, Storm by Chris Claremont, Black Panther by Stan Lee, Spawn by Todd McFarlane, Black Lightning by Tony Isabella, Tyroc by Cary Bates.

TyrocOh! Speaking of Tyroc, I remember once strolling through the internet and seeing someone bashing the creation of Tyroc because he came from a floating island that was filled with only black people and that of course made the character forced! Which means islands like Haiti are forced also! Oh no! AGENDA! But of course, a planet like Krypton filled with people who look white isn’t forced at all.

Since little, people are constantly told to write what they know. What people know are people that surround them, much like white writers write white characters because that is what they know given their background. So a black writer who grew up with others with the same color of his skin would naturally write a black character. Where is the crime in that? And as a black reader once again, I’d like to have characters that resemble me who I’d like to look up to. When I was younger, I was a huge fan of the 90s X-Men animated series. But the episode when Bishop first appeared, I was overwhelmed with excitement! Finally a black male character who actually looked like me! And to top it off, he was a bad-ass! Bishop was the first black superhero I ever saw at my age and I’ve been a fan ever since and when I first stumbled upon X-Men comics, the first thing I wanted to do was find out more about Bishop. So by introducing black characters in more comic based stuff, it actually opens up the field to kids who are indeed black.

Now, not all black kids will associate with a certain black character, though. If that character matches not only their skin color but also their attitudes and views, they’ll definite grow attached and have someone to look up to. So what is wrong with having someone to identify with through skin color? What is wrong for any race to be represented in comic books other than white? Why does the reason have to be for PC reasons and agendas? People are constantly saying that they’re the last to be racist and how something should be done about racism, yet they’re the first to show their true colors when a black writer introduces a black character to a mostly white team or field while a white writer introducing yet ANOTHER white character doesn’t get one eye brow raised. Yay, equality.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Oh, The Horror! # 5: Interview With the Vampire

Interview With the Vampire

Caught this on Showtime. I've always caught random parts of the film for years but have never had the pleasure of watching the whole movie in full in one sitting and my was it truly a pleasure. I love this movie. Anne Rice, the writer of the novel and screenplay for this movie, is truly a brilliant writer. She writes the tragedy of her characters beautifully and wonderfully. The emotions between the lead vampires are very pulling and many times you're disgusted by them but at other times intrigued, fascinated and behind them. The stuff these people do to each other is very entertaining to see. In a way, the ways the characters treated each other sort of reminded me of Strange Embrace. Great stuff.

Great shots also, and my goodness was the music fantastic! I just loved the fast paced violins during the intense scenes and Kristen Dunst as the "child" vampire was just highly disturbing. For such a young actress at that age, she was terrifying as she grew angry and more intense due to the fact that as decades passed she could never grow to become a woman. I also loved the sexual undertones between the vampires. Claudia (Dunst) was in love with her "father" Louis (Brad Pitt) but he saw her as a daughter. We have Lestat (Tom Cruise), the antagonist of the story who adores his life as a vampire, unlike Louis, and seems to make love with Louis the first time he bites him and turns him. The way they embrace each other is really quite intimate. And there are other scenes like this too, like the scene when Lestat and Louis feed on a woman together and it definitely showcases a type of sexual threesome. But for me, my favorite tension was probably from Armand (Antonio Bandaras) an vampiric actor who was the leader of a gang of vampires who also falls in love with Louis and carries something tragic to happen due to his love.

Effects were great. There's a scene when Lestat's throat gets cut open. When you see the life flow out his body and his skin turns gray and into a corpse, I just gave a nod for how great the effects for that scene was. And later when he comes back for his revenge, the make-up for his face is terrifying, especially right before you close in one him while he's playing the piano and the drapes are flowing until it finally reveals him. Great stuff. And the ending, no matter how many times I see it always gets a nice chuckle from me. Laughing

Friday, September 19, 2008

Saving Urban Myths (PLEASE HELP!!!)

Pilot Season is a contest run by Top Cow Productions to have readers vote for two books they would like to see published. Among the running was Urban Myths, a book by Jay Faerber that I fell in love with through the one-shot. I'm a huge Greek mythology fan and what Faerber did with that book, mixing Greek myths along with a modern setting detective story was simply amazing. Urban Myths was in the Top 2 until Warren Ellis mentioned that he read and enjoyed another book in the contest and that lead many people to vote for thus book, dropping Urban Myths out of the Top 2 spot. But here is a chance for Urban Myths to continue on. I started a petition to get the book out and would surely appreciate for people to help me out in saving Urban Myths. Thank you for your time.


It should be noted, though, that writing to Top Cow would be better in attracting their attentions, so please write to fanmail@topcowent.com to save the book.

Here's the full issue, free of charge for anyone who's interested. http://www.newsarama.com/php/multimedia/album.php?aid=21790

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Flip of the Coin #1: Why?

I've always had a fascination with people, since I was really young. For years I've always wanted to know every darn thing about a person. See, I used to heavily believe that you couldn't fully appreciate or love a person unless knowing everything, good and bad, and accepting them. With people, it's rather hard to see this. People are like coins. You see one side but don't see the other. They could be hiding something, something emotional or painful, but you could never tell. Or a very flawed side. Nowadays, my views on this is different. Now, if people I care about don't want to reveal a thing to me, so be it. Doesn't mean I can't appreciate or care for them.

But yes, moving on... Two-Face represents people. That is the main thing that attracts me to the character. He is the representation and personification of wanting to see both sides and my fascination with people as a whole. When written well, Two-Face is a very flawed individual. Sure, he is a Bat-villain, but in him he still has the potential to do good. As people, we have good and bad sides about us. One side could be greater than the other, but we have them. Two-Face represents that notion, even visually. We could be very beautiful at one point and very scarred and ugly. His obsession with allowing the coin to choose his or other's fate could represent our inner desires to want to do things people would deem out-of-character for us or even just plain wrong.

Also, since I was little I've always been fascinated by the whole multiple personality stuff. That combined with people having different personalities in general is what makes me so in love a the character like Harvey Dent, or someone like Jaime Madrox, the Multiple Man, over at Marvel. And in me is my own constant inner battles of making decisions that even I tend to flip a coin to decide or just plainly don't do anything.

And it also helps that Two-Face has had some fantastic writing for him. Writers like Greg Rucka, Ed Brubaker, Chuck Dixon, J.M. DeMatteis, Jeph Loeb, Andrew Helfer, and many others writing essential Two-Face stories. Usually it's guaranteed that if Two-Face makes an appearance, it'll be an intense and interesting story. And who doesn't love reading those stories of a best friend or partner gone bad. Two-Face was once D.A. of Gotham and part of the Gotham Trinity trying to stop crime. But we all know how much that cost as his struggles against crime lead to the down fall of the great Gotham White Knight Harvey as he comes to twisted and deformed Two-Face. You can't help but fall in love with the character and his struggle when you watch his origin episodes in the 90s Batman Animated Series written by master Paul Dini and in Chris Nolan's recent masterpiece The Dark Knight where Harvey was such a huge and fantastic part of the film.

So yeah. All those stuff above and many are why I'm so in darn love with this character. Sheesh, what a rant. Hmm... but reading through this post I still couldn't quite fully seem to express in detail my full love for the character. Here's hoping at least a bit was expressed to convey it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Flip of the Coin #2*: Solits of Nightwing #147-151 (The Great Leap)

*Reason this is number 2 is because I'm in the process of writing the first post for this Two-Face aspect of my blog. So no, it was not a pun on the character, heh heh...

I'm a big Two-Face fan. Everyone who's close to me knows that or even had a conversation or chat with me about comics or whatever. He's my favorite fictional character in anything. Although I haven't been buying DC (except for All Star Superman and Hellblazer) whenever Two-Face makes an appearance, I'll get it. I'll start this post by posting his most recent appearance in the Nightwing comic. Thus far, a really enjoyable story. Tomasi is a master story teller and I was excited to hear he'd be writing dear ol' Harvey. But yes, here are the solits of the recent Nightwing/Two-Face stories. When the rest of the issues are out, I'll write a review.

Nightwing #147

Written by Peter J. Tomasi ; Art by Don Kramer and Sandu Florea; Cover by Rags Morales

A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Two-Face hits New York City – but when he takes a bite out of the Big Apple, he finds it rotten to the core. He'll make Nightwing and all of New York pay for their crimes…unless Nightwing can save one of Harvey Dent's old flames from an assassin's bullet!

Nightwing #148

A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Nightwing's been shot by an assassin! How can he save the life of Harvey Dent's former lover before the killer returns to finish the job…and before he bleeds to death? Will Nightwing find sanctuary in the Batcave, or will Batman's recent disappearance lead to an even bigger mystery?

Nightwing # 149

A 'Batman R.I.P.' tie-in! With Batman missing in action, Nightwing faces off against The Dark Knight's most dangerous enemies - Killer Croc, Penguin, Mr. Freeze, Poison Ivy, Two-Face and The Joker - to save the life of a woman marked for death.

Nightwing # 150

Cover by Philip Tan Variant cover by Ethan Van Sciver Special oversized 'Batman R.I.P.' tie-in issue! Believing Nightwing responsible for the death of an old flame, Two-Face has sworn his revenge upon Batman's first Robin and New York City itself. Armed with the same acid that turned him into Two-Face, Harvey Dent plans to scar half the population of New York to make them pay for his loss. And without The Dark Knight around for help, it's up to Nightwing to stop the Batman's most duplicitous and dangerous villain. Beware the acid rain as Nightwing confronts Two-Face in the final chapter of 'The Great Leap'!

Nightwing #151

Nightwing has saved New York City from Two-Face, but that doesn't mean that he's saved himself – or that Two-Face is through with him. Nightwing will be forced to confront the madman in Arkham Asylum then face dire changes to his personal life as he deals with the aftereffects of "Batman R.I.P." and makes the ultimate leap!

Buy Tales of the TMNT #50 this week!!!

My good buddy, Tristan Jones, returns to the world of the Turtles after his fan-favorite issue #36 along with his partner in crime, Paul Harmon. I interviewed Trist a few months back for my comic column, he was a blast and showed some awesome preview art. I can guarantee this is gonna be a blast, so do check it out.

Here's the link to the interview http://burbank.directrouter.com/~bludbloo/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=339&Itemid=51

Here is the link to his blog where he has awesome stuff inside is mind

And here is the link to Paul Harmon's AWESOME artwork.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Oh, The Horror! #4: David Hine's Strange Embrace

Beautifully stitched and crafted by the twisted mind of David Hine, we are pulled into an analysis of the human psyche in what could be described as intriguing, but of course frightening. In Hine’s Strange Embrace we are introduced to a cast of characters who could be seen quite normal at first glance. But pull down the first layer of curtains and turn that knob on the door, and we are introduced to a world filled with love, obsession, alienation, sexual longing and perversion, pain and tragedy… Basically the essential of what makes us all human, and quite frankly – disturbed. Hine presents the littlest flaws and emotions of love and pushes each button to the point where a horror story is milked that leaves your mind tingling in both fascination and disgust.

The story is filled with so many characters that all share connections somehow to each other. We are first introduced to a teenage delivery boy by the name of Sukumar who has to deliver groceries to an old man named Anthony Corbeau, the key to this mundane and moody story. After rushing away in fear from Corbeau during a snowstorm, Sukumar is taken in by Alex, a writer whose picture should be next to the definition of “sadistic bastard.” Alex is a psychic who finds pleasure in stories, but gone are the stories of fantasy and fiction – Alex likes to dwell into the minds of the people around him, peeling away at their secrets, lies, and their past, even if in doing so corrupts and drives them insane or even death. If by chance you die while Alex is going through your tortured psyche, Alex would smile on satisfaction that your story is finally completed and goes on with his life to uncover more stories for his library collection, a café literally filled ghosts. But once again, Alex is a writer, and like every writer he needs an audience. And this is where Sukumar comes unto the plot as he is mentally forced to deal with Alex and listen to the story of the old man, Corbeau, and his obsession with African art. But it is that one simple obsession with African art that presents us to his father, Edward, mother, Agnes, and eventually his wife, Sarah. Each character is filled with their own secrets and everything just slowly but surely comes to a head as eventually each of their story intertwines and interferes with each other to a surprising conclusion.

Each character is delicately crafted and at many times the characters you root for one minute now has you covering your mouth in disgust a minute later. Be surprised if you aren’t driven insane by this horror story. But it isn’t quite fair to continue to call it just a horror story. This is also quite a mystery story where we are constantly seeing a missing piece of a puzzle slightly placed to give us a clearer picture. This is where we, the reader, eventually becomes Alex, the sadistic bastard. Like Alex trying to uncover the life story of Anthony and everyone who surrounds him, you are going to constantly want to turn to the next page to see what happens and how far insanity can be pushed. The story will absolutely consume you.

And lets not just stick to the writing, Hine also provides the art. And if you are familiar with Hine’s writing on Silent War, Spawn, or Poison Candy, just wait to see how twisted he could get with his artwork. With his own art style that you can most definitely call his own, panels of horror and pain will be popping up at times that you’d least expect, moments that add more tragedy to the already intense story. There’s a part in the book where you are trying to uncover Sarah’s story and you are drawn to a drawer that will open up a whole new secret to unravel and shock you. And another page when Sarah meets her mother-in-law. I’m telling you, all my praising of this tale gives it no justice until you read it yourself. But let me not forget the fantastic colors by Flanimal’s Rob Steen. Originally Strange Embrace was published back in ’94 in black and white by Atomeka Press and later collected into trade by Active Images. But thanks to Elephantmen’s Richard Starking, we are presented to Hine’s world in color that only draws you more into this story and both pleasantly and disturbingly locks you in a Strange Embrace. Heh… see what I did there?

So run to a local comic shop or bookstore and pick up Strange Embrace. You will not regret it. This book has been getting absolutely NOTHING but rave reviews from critics and this would surely be a great time to read the book that got David Hine his Marvel and Image’s Spawn job, and DC Comics job (Two-Face, baby!!!) So let’s jump into Hine’s café of ghosts and be prepared to be held and consumed in his hold.

The order number for Strange Embrace is: APR08 2187 retailing for: $34.99 or it can be ordered from Amazon with a hefty 34% discount at $23.09.

This edition includes the original graphic novel, written by David Hine and coloured by Rob Steen, plus four short stories, sketches, cover art and interview.

Baby vs Cobra

Okay, um.... seriously... wtf?

What's Your Image?

Well, my new article for my comic column, Face To Greg, was just put up. I have a huge love for Image comics and I thought it's time I wrote about it, hopefully get other comic folks or others interested in picking up Image books. Even Jay Faerber, writer and co-creator of Dynamo 5 and Noble Causes, drops by, along with my one of my Image partner in crime, Brikhed21.

Below is the link to it. Tell me what you think.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Disney Horror?

Okay, besides being a fan of horror, I am a big fan of Disney movies, but really the ones back in the days, like the 2D flicks. I extremely miss the 2D films Disney used to be famous for making. My favorites being Pocahontas, Hercules, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Cinderella, and quite a few other numbers. I was surfing around and ended up stumbling on a video someone made of The Lion King but as a horror film. The person sliced Lion King 1 and 2 scenes to make in a horror trailer and it truly is funny.

Then I found a trailer some one made of Hunchback of Notre Dame, with The Omen trailer dialogue/music accompanying it. After that is another Hunchback video but with 300 music/dialogue in the background. It really is a funny thing to watch. The videos are below.

Oh, The Horror! #3: Norma Desmond (In Sunset Blvd)

"I am big! It's the pictures that got small!" belts Norma Desmond, portrayed by the late great Gloria Swanson in 1950's Sunset Boulevard. Okay, so this movie isn't a horror movie, but for the people who's seen this movie can all agree that Norma Desmond, the aging actress who's in denial of her faded spotlight is just downright creepy. Now, for the people who hasn't seen this movie: what the frag is wrong with you?! Go and buy it right now! This is a classic that should be on everyone's DVD collection!

William Holden stars in this movie as Joe Gillis, a struggling screenwriter in Hollywood. His car is about to be towed due to missing his payments and struggles to get the cash for it. He tries to hide the car inside of a garage after a car chase from those pesky folks who won't leave him alone for his car and meets the woman who owns that great big mansion where he parked it. The actress is non-other than the great Norma Desmond, a big time actress from the silent film era. Or "used to be" big shot. But don't tell her that! She's a star, it's just that the pictures got too small! Before Gillis can leave, he is forced to read Desmond's screenplay of Salome, a story of a young princess who Desmond has envision with her in the starring role. Reluctant at first, Gillis sees the opportunity to finally get some money as Desmond begins to spoil him with many things, including her growing desire for him. Her love and desire for him begins to becoming very disturbing as the cold-hearted actress becomes even more creepy given her already scary mindset of now being a fallen actress. This is certainly a movie that has held up through the ways and is still a blast to see, especially seeing the characters go through a spiral, maybe a way of warning me, an aspiring director/actor, about the Hollywood biz. Sheesh.

But anyways, if you haven't seen this movie, go pick it up now and enjoy the it from beginning to the very last line that's become a classic in cinema, "... All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

2008 Spike Scream Awards Nominees

Well, today I stumbled upon the nominees for the Spike Scream Awards for this year. Now, as a film-maker/actor/writer who is into horror, fantasy, and comic books, it puts a great smile on my face to have an award show that is dedicated to those types of movies. While critics are all gushing about "Oscar" type movies, I think it's great that geeks have an award show to care about and just have fun. And the best thing is that we, the viewers, get to vote. Heh, but the thing about that also is that movies, actors, actress, etc who I believe deserve to win sometimes don't due to some other movie. I mean, Transformers beat Children of Men in Best Sci-Fi last year! Are you serious? No way in heck that should have happened, but ah well. Heh, but yes, below I posted a link to the voting process for anyone who stumbles upon this. And check it: Dark Knight has gotten twenty noms!

After the link is the list of nominees and bolded are my picks.


The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Iron Man
The Mist

The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Incredible Hulk

30 Days of Night
The Mist
The Orphanage
The Ruins
The Strangers
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

I Am Legend
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man
Southland Tales

Battlestar Galactica
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Christian Bale as Batman; “The Dark Knight”
Will Smith as John Hancock; “Hancock”
Masi Oka as Hiro Nakamura; “Heroes”
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man; “Iron Man”
Edward Norton as The Hulk; “The Incredible Hulk”
Ron Perlman as Hellboy; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

Christian Bale; “The Dark Knight”
Heath Ledger; “The Dark Knight”
James McAvoy; “Wanted”
Edward Norton; “The Incredible Hulk”
Terry O’Quinn; “LOST”
Ron Perlman; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

Fernando Cayo; “The Orphanage”
Johnny Depp; “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”
Michael C. Hall; “Dexter”
Thomas Jane; “The Mist”
Jared Padalecki; “Supernatural”
Jonathan Tucker; “The Ruins”

Anna Friel; “Pushing Daises”
Jessica Lucas; “Cloverfield”
T.J. Miller; “Cloverfield”
Anna Walton; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Odette Yustman; “Cloverfield”

Julie Benz; “Dexter”
Jena Malone; “The Ruins”
Belen Rueda; “The Orphanage”
Liv Tyler; “The Strangers”
Naomi Watts; “Funny Games”
Helena Bonham Carter; “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

Tobin Bell as Jigsaw; “SAW IV”
Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane; “Iron Man”
Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent/Two-Face; “The Dark Knight”
Zachary Quinto as Sylar; “Heroes”
Heath Ledger as The Joker; “The Dark Knight”
Alan Rickman as Judge Turpin; “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"

Amy Adams; “Enchanted”
Selma Blair; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Maggie Gyllenhaal; “The Dark Knight”
Angelina Jolie; “Wanted”
Hayden Panettiere; “Heroes”
Charlize Theron; “Hancock”

Jason Bateman; “Hancock”
Michael Caine; “The Dark Knight”
Terrence Howard; “Iron Man”
Doug Jones; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Gary Oldman; “The Dark Knight”
Shia LaBeouf; “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”

The Batmobile/Batpod Chase; “The Dark Knight”
The Big Rig Flips Over; “The Dark Knight”
Escape From Ten Rings Hideout; “Iron Man”
Iron Man’s First Flight; “Iron Man”
The Reverse Kill Shot; “Wanted”
The Statue Of Liberty/Empire State Building Attack; “Cloverfield”

Attacked By The Infected; “I Am Legend”
The Autopsy; “Saw IV”
The Pencil Trick; “The Dark Knight”
Bitten By Vagina With Teeth; “Teeth”
The Leg Amputation; “The Ruins”
Attacked By The Flesh-Eating Tooth Fairies; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”

“Cloverfield;” Drew Goddard
“The Mist;” Frank Darabont
“The Orphanage;” Sergio G. Sanchez
“WALL-E;” Andrew Stanton, Peter Docter & Jim Reardon
“The Dark Knight;” Christopher Nolan, Jonathan Nolan & David S. Goyer
“Iron Man;” Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Arthur Marcum & Matthew Hollaway

Army of Darkness
Battlestar Galactica
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Eight
Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian”
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Resident Evil: Extinction
Saw IV

Tim Burton; “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"
Frank Darabont; “The Mist”
Guillermo Del Toro; “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
Jon Favreau; “Iron Man”
Christopher Nolan; “The Dark Knight”
Rob Zombie; “Halloween”

The Eye
Funny Games
The Incredible Hulk
Journey To The Center Of The Earth
Prom Night

Robert Downey Jr.; “Iron Man”
Harrison Ford; “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”
Dwayne Johnson; “Southland Tales”
Edward James Olmos; “Battlestar Galactica”
Will Smith; “I Am Legend”
David Tennant; “Doctor Who”

Summer Glau; “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”
Tricia Helfer; “Battlestar Galactica”
Lena Headey; “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles”
Milla Jovovich; “Resident Evil: Extinction”
Gwyneth Paltrow; “Iron Man”
Odette Yustman; “Cloverfield”

The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Iron Man

Astonishing X-Men
League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite
The Walking Dead
Y: The Last Man

30 Days of Night
The Dark Knight
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
The Incredible Hulk
Iron Man

Gabriel Ba; The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite
Darwyn Cooke: The Spirit
Pia Guerra; Y: The Last Man
Jim Lee; All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder
Joe Quesada; Amazing Spider-man
Alex Ross; Project Superpowers

Warren Ellis; Anna Mercury, Black Summer, Doktor Sleepless, Fell, No Hero
Robert Kirkman; The Walking Dead
Mike Mignola; Hellboy: Darkness Calls, Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus
Alan Moore; League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: The Black Dossier
Grant Morrison; Batman, Final Crisis
Brian K. Vaughan; Ex Machina, Y: The Last Man

The 70s Heroes Return!; Secret Invasion 1
Buffy And Satsu In Best Together!; Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season Eight
The Plague Is Revealed!; Y: The Last Man
Kitty Pride Sacrifices Herself To Save The World!; Giant Sized Astonishing X-Men
The Slaughter Of Woodbury Prison!; The Walking Dead
The X-Men Disband After Professor X Is Shot In The Head By Bishop; X-Men

“Hulk Smash!” (The Hulk); “The Incredible Hulk”
“I believe whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stranger” (The Joker); “The Dark Knight”
“I am Iron Man!” (Tony Stark); “Iron Man”
“I’m not a baby…I’m a tumor” (The Tumor); “Hellboy II: The Golden Army”
“I will now make this pencil disappear” (The Joker); “The Dark Knight”
“Why so serious?” (The Joker); “The Dark Knight”

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oh, The Horror! #2: 2001 Maniacs

2001 Maniacs starring Robert Englund, who we all know and adore as the lovable Freddy Kruger. The movie is a remake on an old horror film called Two Thousand Maniacs! which has a bad rep for bad direction and acting, but of course like all bad rep movies, it's a cult classic, mostly for the over the top gore and violence which the remake did a great job on. Everything was so damn silly and ridiculous that I ended up laughing at almost every damn death in this movie. And it's not like they were poorly done, they were fine. Just the mood of it made it so funny for me and although really gruesome, I'm damn sure I'm not the only one who's gonna have a blast and a laugh.

The movie is about 8 folks, all young, I'm guessing all were college kids, who all take a detour and stumble upon "Pleasant Valley" where they are welcomed with smiles and food and lots of sex! But of course, obviously all the people living there are cannibals!! Rolling Eyes C'mon, who didn't see that coming? Heh, that was a joke btw. But anyways...

Movies like this justify me wanting to buy a gun, I'm sorry to say that. I've seen too many damn horror and suspense flicks where everything could have been resolved if the damn protagonist had a damn gun to shoot the bastard antagonist. Has anyone else seen Quentin Taratino's Deathproof? One of my favorite scenes is when the second set of girls are hanging out at the diner and they talk about how one of them (Kim) carries a gun. Kim tells her girlfriends after 2 of them disagree, "I dunno what kinda futuristic utopia you live in, but where I live a bitch need a gun!" Rosario Dawson's character later says, "A knife at least." Kim: "You do know what happens to muthafuckas who carry knives, right? They get shot!" HAHA! And I must agree, I'm sorry. And after seeing Vacancy, hell no. I plan to get a damn license and gun for whenever I travel and stay at some creepy town or motel. Screw that.

But yes, anyway! This is not a great movie at all but if you want to pass time for no reason whatsoever, check this out. You get to see boobs, cousins making out, a guy getting his twig and berries literally eaten, a guy with a spear up his butt, a guy's eyes pop out, a woman with all her limbs decapitated by horses, etc etc. Let's have a gay ole' time, ya'll!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

My Riot

Marvel has a fun little section of their site where you can create your own superhero. Here's my character. This is the closest depiction I can make with what they gave me, but it still came out rather cool.

And I edited it a little bit through Paint. Someone told me they prefer the image above, but I prefer this one. Plus, the mask is a little to more of what I have in mind for the character anyway...

Here's the link to create your own. Would love to see what you guys come up with. (*When you're done creating your character, press "Print Screen" on your keyboard to copy and paste your character and have it on your computer.)


Oh, The Horror! #1: Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

As I've mentioned in my last post, I am a fan of horror. I'll be posting stuff of horror that I really enjoy, whether it be movies, stories, pictures, anything of the like. Also, for horror fans I'd recommend checking out the blog of Tristan Jones (look to the right, there's a link "Mind of Mongo") as he has some nice updates on characters from horror fans who stand out to him. They're always great fun to read about.

But yes, for my first entry...

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

You've no idea how much fun I have watching this movie! I saw it when it came out in theaters and truly felt it was probably Tim Burton's masterpiece, and I say that as a Tim Burton fan since I was in Junior High. It was Burton who got me interested into film and whenever I'm in a bit of a rut while filming, I th
ink of Burton films. He truly is an inspiration when I'm behind the camera doing something. But I digress. Edward Scissorhands will always be my favorite movie hands down, but Sweeney Todd is Burton's masterpiece in my opinion. The way I see it, all of Burton's previous films, most notably Sleepy Hollow, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Nightmare Before Christmas, etc, were all practice leading to this! A truly bloody horror musical! And I LOVE musicals. You can ask my buddies. So a horror musical directed by Burton. That's definitely asking for my approval as a great film and darn good time.

The mood and atmosphere is very gloomy and lovely. Like a lot of Burton's film, although there's color, it's still gives a sense of watching an old black and white film. But with this movie also, the make up helps us imagine it also as a bit of a silent movie setting, the way certain shots are, the way the characters look and react, etc. Then all you need is the lovely musical scores and numbers by Stephen Sondheim and voila. We have a work of genius in our hands! And the way the blood is used is an extra goodie treat! It's so over the top and adds some nice humor as Depp, as the demented barber, is singing a love song of his daughter while slicing the necks of his customers. And Helena Bonham Carter is wonderful as Sweeney's partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett. As Mr. Todd kills his customers, Mrs. Lovett takes the body and turn them into successful pies. Yum-my!

I have to also say this is certainly one of Johnny Depp's best performances. It's great hearing him belt out in song but his look and anger through the movie and those eyes of pain and hate just puts a smile on my face as an actor. As an actor, I actually get typecast as the evil, demented, or plain evil or weird guy and this is certainly a role that I applaud as it's a role I would certainly love to reenact. Heh, first I gotta complete those singing lessons I stopped doing a few years back. But it truly is a lot of fun seeing Depp fall into this character and like Burton, also inspires me in an actor side mostly due to him picking to play actors that aren't formulaic. I mean Captain Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Willy Wonka. The guy's an artist genius. Thank you both Burton and Depp for the inspiration.

Um.... hello?

Well, decided to start a blog about what interests me, etc. And I'm interested in a lot of things, but I'm pretty sure this blog would mostly be about comics, horror films, writing, etc etc. So for those who are reading around, etc, thanks for visiting, etc. I have a comic column over at bludblood.com called "Face To Greg" so each update over there I'll post over here, my horror reviews, etc. I am also an aspiring film-making, actor, and comic writer.

Honestly, right now I have no idea what I want to say, so whatever...