Archive for vampires

I “man-down” and review Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Posted in monsters, movies, pop culture, Twilight, vampires with tags , , , , on April 29, 2013 by Paxton

Twilight 4 Part 1

Here we are again, Twilight. Once more we stare at each other across the squared circle in anticipation of this little dance that we’ve done three different times already.  You show up all sparkly and melodramatic and I punch holes into your face until I’m wheezing and wishing I was watching porn.

Let’s begin this dance with a synopisis…

So the movie starts with Bella and Edward’s wedding. It’s in the woods. People show up in florescent tuxes and ascots. It’s all very ethereal and annoying. Not surprisingly Jacob isn’t in attendance until during the reception. He comes with an understandable chip on his shoulder. Edward is now actually trying to be nice and reason with him. For once, I actually feel like Edward cares for Bella.  He tells Jacob that he needs him to help protect Bella. Jacob discovers that Bella hasn’t been turned yet and then he keeps focusing on the eventual “love making” that Edward is going to impart on Bella’s still human vagina and how it could kill her. It’s a rather awkward situation and Jacob just keeps going on and on about it.

After Jacob runs off very dramatically with his pack, Bella and Edward retreat to the Cullen’s private Brazilian island (of COURSE they have an island) to spend what feels like 6 months on their honeymoon. And then Bella and Edward “do the deed” and she and the bed come out looking like the scene of a street fight. Edward vows never to lay with his wife again, until he does about 10 minutes later. Bella turns up preggers with a mutant child that grows months in a matter of weeks.

The wolfpack discovers the pregnancy and plan to attack and kill the “abomination” (I agree).  Jacob violently leaves the pack to protect Bella.  Bella becomes weak and pallid as the baby is drawing off her life force (much like this movie is doing to me).  She painfully gives birth to the child and, in spite, gives it the terrible name Renneesme (I don’t care that it’s a combo of their mothers’ names…it’s still terrible).  Edward injects his “poison” into Bella’s heart after birth to turn her into a vampire but the process doesn’t seem to take and Bella seemingly dies as the Cullens and wolfpack battle.  Jacob goes to kill the child himself now that Bella is “dead” but finds he’s creepily “imprinted” on the horribly named child.  Since Jacob now wants to have intercourse with the baby, by the werewolf rule, she can not be harmed.

Bella and Edward
“Oh look, Jacob wants to have sex with our newborn child. How sweet.”

Bella is cleaned and dressed for her “funeral”, I guess, but suddenly her wounds heal and she awakens as a newborn vampire.  And I suddenly realize that I have nothing left to give this terrible, terrible franchise.  I’m struggling to find the testicular fortitude to finish the one last movie in this saga.  The rest of the movies were bad, this one just was….meh.  It wasn’t just f**king awful, especially compared to the second and third movies, but it’s not good, either.  I was surprised that I liked Edward a little bit more in this one.  He actually seemed less wooden and melodramatic and more protective of Bella.  Jacob was even more of an irritating hot head than usual.  And I used to like him once upon a time.  We get some pretty good vamp vs werewolf action, but the wolfpack people suck.  You know, I try to find one thing I like and two others that I hate spring up and take its place.  Like the movie is actively trying to get me to hate it.

I think I’ve said this before, but I’m going to watch the last and final (praise Jesus) movie out of sheer dogged stubbornness.  But I won’t enjoy it.  Like  experiencing a prison rape at Riker’s Island, I’ve just got to bite down and get through it.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2012: Review of the final book in Guillermo Del Toro’s Strain Trilogy

Posted in Halloween, holiday with tags , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2012 by Paxton

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This is the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest 2012. And it’s a half week, as Halloween is on Wednesday. I’m sad to see it all end. So, since we are on a short week this week, I’m going to stray from the movie maniac theme today and tomorrow and do a couple of updates to previous AWESOME-tober-fest entries.

Last year for AWESOME-tober-fest 2011, I reviewed the first two books in The Strain trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan.  I said they were very good vampire novels which made the concept of the vampire scary again.  As of that writing, the third book wasn’t released yet.  I was going to wait until paperback, but earlier this year I was able to find the third book in hardback at a used library sale for less than $2, so I picked it up.  And as of now, I have read the final book in the Strain trilogy, The Night Eternal.

The Night Eternal

So, the story picks up a few months after the second book. The Master has destroyed the other Ancients and the world has been overtaken by his vampire horde.  It’s pretty dark stuff.  Society is in shambles.  Abraham is dead.  The world is covered in a thick cloud cover that only allows about an hour or two of sunlight each day.  There’s constant acid rain.  Blood farms are setup to harvest blood for the ruling vampires.  As long as you are obedient, you aren’t sent to these farms.  Vampires are also breeding people on these farms in order to create more people.  It’s pretty horrific post-apocalyptic stuff.

So our group of heroes must regroup after The Master’s destruction of the Ancients and the vampire usurping of society, with the help of a vampire that was created by the Master many centuries ago, and take down the ruling vampires and restore humans as the dominant life form.

I thought the second book was dark, but this book is darker.  We learn more of the Master’s plans, and it’s very interesting to see how society has adapted to the new vampire rule.  It’s also interesting to see our heroes coming back together after a few dismal months of vampire rule and, essentially, a losing battle.  The action is good and Chuck Hogan’s writing style is dark and brutal.  The finishing arc for our heroes is great and really feels like they aren’t going to make it at times.  Plus, we learn some very interesting information about the formation of the Ancients as well as The Master himself.  Honestly, I didn’t see it coming, but it was interesting nonetheless.

Overall, I really enjoyed this trilogy.  It’s was dark and hard to read in spots mainly due to the situations presented.  But the journey was worth it and I really felt like the authors earned their ending.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

Nerd Lunch Episode 54: Give it a Chance 2: Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Posted in books, monsters, podcast, TV shows, vampires with tags , , , , , , on September 25, 2012 by Paxton

Nerd Lunch Podcast

We have arrived at Episode 54 of the podcast. This week we return to a previous topic called Give It A Chance. We first did this topic back in Episode 24 in which we gave anime a chance and we had Shawn Robare as our guide.  This week Jen Usellis (Episode 11) returns to the fourth chair to guide the three of us geeky guys through the world of Sookie Stackhouse.  That’s right, the three of us read Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris, the first Southern Vampire Mystery and the genesis of the TV show True Blood.

Dead Until Dark Sookie Stackhouse

Jen guides us through the gothic horror romance genre and teaches us all a thing or two about why this series is so popular.  We mostly discuss the book, but there is a part at the end in which we discuss the first few episodes of the TV show starring Anna Paquin as Sookie Stackhouse.

We learn this week that two of the three of us have watched the show and that two of the three of us hate the vampire called “Bubba” in the novel.  We also learn that vampire Bill has a stupid name and is a “black hole of charisma”.

Lots to learn, lots to hear in this episode.  Download it from iTunes or listen to it on Feedburner.

Or, listen to it within your browser here.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Dracula Dead and Loving It (1995)

Posted in Halloween, holiday, monsters, movies, pop culture, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by Paxton

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This is it. The final day of AWESOME-tober-fest. This week I looked at lots of Dracula movies. I usually end these things with “Freaky Friday” in which I’ll review a particularly silly or spoof movie about the subject at hand. I did this with Billy the Kid last year. I also did it with last years’ werewolves AWESOME-tober-fest. So it goes this year. Today I’m going to look at a Mel Brooks spoof of Dracula from 1995.

Dracula Dead and Loving It

That movie was Dracula Dead and Loving It. I originally saw this movie in the theater. I am a HUGE fan of Brooks’ Young Frankenstein which spoofs the first three Universal Frankenstein movies.  So I was excited to see what Brooks had in store for Dracula.  This movie not only spoofs the 1931 Universal Dracula, it also pokes fun at the 1992 Coppola Dracula and the 1958 Hammer Dracula.

So overall, this movie isn’t that funny. It’s more along the lines of a modern spoof movie like Date Movie or Disaster Movie. It’s nowhere near as satisfying as a Young Frankenstein. And it’s tough that Brooks had to live up to Young Frankenstein which is a nearly perfect spoof comedy, but that’s how I watched it.  I enjoyed parts of it, though.  Leslie Nielsen is okay as Count Dracula.  The standout performance in the movie, however, is Peter MacNicol as Renfield.  He really gets his crazy on and models his insanity on the original 1931 Renfield, Dwight Frye.  He is a joy to watch.  It looks like he had so much fun.

Dracula Dead and Loving It 2

Steven Weber as Jonathan Harker isn’t bad either. Unfortunately, however, I’m not a huge fan of Weber’s Wings costar, Amy Yasbeck. I just don’t think she’s funny nor a good actress. She similarly tanked another Brooks movie, Robin Hood Men in Tights, which I thought was funny despite Yasbeck’s performance.  And she was terrible in The Mask.  How does she keep getting work?

This movie is all about the sight gags, so I’m not going to sit here and describe that to you. There are some genuinely funny moments onscreen, unfortunately, they come too infrequently. I really think the problem here is the script. Dracula is ripe for some parody, yet the material seemed thin and less a parody of Dracula and had more situational comedy. Maybe the movie would have been better with better actors. I don’t know.  I just wish it would have worked more as a whole because I really like the idea of this movie. Like I said, these horror movies are ripe for a good parody (not looking at you Scary Movie 2-4).


Mummy_banner Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

AWESOME-tober-fest 2011: Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

Posted in Dracula, Frankenstein, Halloween, holiday, monsters, movies, pop culture, vampires with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by Paxton

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Continuing the final week of AWESOME-tober-fest. This week I’ve been reviewing all Dracula movies. Monday was Nosferatu from 1922. Tuesday was Universal’s Dracula from 1931. Yesterday I reviewed Horror of Dracula by Hammer Films. Today I’m looking at a movie that threw out these past movie versions of Dracula and went back to the source.  The director wanted to do a new, more faithful adaptation of Stoker’s novel.  That director was Francis Ford Coppola.

Coppola's Dracula

So, in 1992 we got Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Coppola was actually given the script for this adaptation by Wynona Ryder.  She wanted a project for them to do together to help patch things up with the director after she pulled out of The Godfather Part III at the last minute. So Coppola agreed to do this and production began.

Coppola really wanted to create an ethereal almost dreamlike quality to this movie. Originally, he didn’t want to build any sets. He wanted elaborate costumes but very sparse, minimalistic backgrounds. Luckily the studio said no and forced him to do “traditional” sets. I’ve attempted to watch this movie several times since the 90s. But I hadn’t tried for a few years, so I thought this might be the year to give it a try, especially since I just read the original novel and watched a bunch of other Dracula movies.

So, what did I think this time? I didn’t like it. At all. They put Stoker’s name over the title, but that was mainly to differentiate it from Universal’s movie, not because there is that much more devotion to the novel. Coppola has created an overly indulgent arthouse flick about Dracula. It’s surreal and strange and boring. He ties the origins of Dracula to “The Impaler” Vlad III who renounces God after his beloved wife kills herself after mistakenly believing her husband was killed in battle.  Then Dracula stabs a stone cross, which starts to bleed, then he drinks the blood from the cross.  WHAT?!

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