Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Everything's Coming Up Lincoln

Last weekend I went and saw Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. My expectations weren't terribly high so I wasn't terribly disappointed. The film was pretty non-stop which I enjoyed because any lulls would have probably made me think "I'm bored" and I hate feeling bored while watching a movie. The action was pretty awesome along with the CGI (as predicted). It was more gore-y than I expected as if all the vampires were those juicy mosquitoes that when you slap them they burst in a steady stream of blood across the room. You know the ones I'm talking about.

Unfortunately, the movie ended and the audience left with more questions than answers. If you haven't seen the movie and want to see it then you might not want to read the rest of this paragraph. Feel free to hop down to the next one. Anyways, my biggest question after seeing the film was, does Henry actually exist or was Lincoln just schizophrenic and the voices in his head told him to go kill perfectly innocent people. I mean, if we remove the concept of vampires from the film then Lincoln looks like a serial killer, murdering people and leaving them in unmarked graves in the woods waiting for some up-and-coming/got-something-to-prove detective to seek out this murderous fiend. I guess that's a different story though and will probably be the subject of an upcoming spoof book which will be made into a movie that will tank in theaters.

Moving on. Watching this movie only really fuels the desire to see this movie:

I still stand by my belief that Daniel Day-Lincoln-Lewis or Lincoln Day-Lewis or whatever this guy's new honorary name is going to be is going to be an awesome Lincoln. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. The picture below makes me think of two words aimed towards any haters of the new Lincoln film: Aw Snap!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interesting Perspective

I ran across an article showcasing some interesting artwork. Neil Rivas is making posters of favorite superheros such as Thor, Wonder Woman and Superman and labeling them 'illegal'. No, it's not the artwork that is illegal (well actually I'm not sure about copyright infringement?), but the characters themselves, who would be under U.S. law, illegal immigrants, and/or even undocumented workers. I think if Superman showed up in your town to save the day, few people would ask him for his papers, so why can't we give real people the same respect? Okay, so I know there's clearly a line between fantasy and reality here, and lots of other reasons people would give for why we "need" to label human beings as 'illegal' and why if a superhero showed up you'd give them a free pass. I'll avoid getting into a heated political debate about the issue and just share a couple of the pictures and the interested tidbits shared along with them.

Nightcrawler was born in Germany to shape-shifting mutant, Mystique. He has entered the U.S. illegally when he was drugged and trafficked by circus owner Amos Jardine, as a member of the X-Men, and while undertaking priesthood studies in Brooklyn, NY.

The Thundercats, a family of cat-like humanoid aliens from the planet Thundera, are known to have entered the U.S. illegally when they saved the world with Superman from Mumm-Ra and his Mutants in a 2004 DC crossover.

Wolverine was born in Alberta, Canada sometime during the late 19th century. He is a Canadian citizen with possible dual citizenship in Japan. He has entered the U.S illegally often over the centuries with most recently having done so as a member of the X-Men and the Avengers.

In the end, no matter how you land on the issue of illegal immigration, I think we can all agree that it's lucky that Wolverine never ended up in a crazy place called Arizona. To view the full slideshow of Neil Riva's work, please click here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Writing Advice (not from me)

Recently I read an old Laurell K. Hamilton interview in Writer’s Digest. 

 I’ve read a lot of suggestions from published authors for new or fledgling authors, which I often find to be redundant and not helpful. Contrary to my expectations, I really enjoyed what Laurell had to say:

“Writers write. Put your butt in the chair and write on a regular basis…I start off by writing why I can’t write. Type every reason you can’t write. Complain, bitch, whatever. Half a page to a page in, the muse says, ‘Well, if you’re going to be writing anyways, you can do better than this.’ Also, if you don’t protect your time no one will. I wrote my first book two pages a day, five days a week.”*

Now I may be interpreting this wrong, but it sounds to me like Laurell has just as much trouble (some days) sitting down and writing as I do. I’m always wondering why I have the desire to write (story ideas show up at my doorstep almost daily) but little drive to sit down and do the dirty work. I figured something was wrong with me, like I was born wired wrong or something. I mean, why would anyone think of so many stories but feel like they are pulling teeth when it comes time to put those stories onto paper? Luckily, hearing a published and famous author also struggles to sit down and write makes me feel a little better about my own constant feet-dragging.  

Sometimes when it’s hard to sit down and write I think maybe this isn’t what I should be doing, but Laurell’s comment reaffirms that even published authors struggle with motivation and I can take comfort in knowing that writing is still something I should be doing even if it’s hard for me to sit down and do it. While I’m still not going to be the person that can demand a set schedule for daily writing, at least not any time soon, I’ll make a better effort.

*Quote Source: Schneider, Maria. “Genre Bender.” Writer’s Digest Apr. 2008: 49. Print.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


Recently, I went and saw the new Batman movie (I know, by now who hasn't? I was just lazy about getting this post up). Apparently Bruce Wayne has been in seclusion for like 8 years at the beginning of the film. After he returns to action, one question is left unanswered: what happened to his farmville account?

More tragic than this was one of the films featured in the trailers before the Batman movie, Taken 2.

The first Taken movie (movie poster below)  features a dad character (played by Qui-Gon Jinn) who doesn't want his daughter to go to Europe because he doesn't feel like she'll be safe. The mom and the kid decide it's okay for the kid to go and shortly after showing up in Europe the kid is snatched and Qui-Gon has to venture over to Europe with his rage and his guns and get his daughter back. This film could be summed up in the famous phrase "I told you so." I know what you're thinking, isn't the actual phrase: "I don't know who you are but if you don't let my daughter go I will find you and kill you"? Actually, that's a snippet of the longer statement actually said in the movie that goes something like "I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you." But that's a mouthful and my original phrase really sums up the entire film from before the kid is taken to the end when he's got a smug "I told you so" look on his face while cleaning his guns and acting like he doesn't have jedi powers.  

The sequel (movie poster pictured below) seems to follow a pretty similar premise except this time the mom gets taken and the kid tries to hold her own as bad guys are coming after her.

I can't really see why this film is coming out as the first one didn't really warrant a sequel. I did find this video from Captain Hippo which was much more realistic than either of the Taken films and a great laugh to boot.

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Clone Is More Popular Than I Am

When I was in high school I had the thought: “What if I could clone myself and be my own best friend?” Sure I had friends, but I felt like having myself as my closest friend would be awesome – and not in one of those after-school-special you have to love yourself before you can love someone else ways. Like having the opportunity to enjoy the same movies as someone else, laugh at the same jokes, consistently have the reinforcement that I was awesome not weird/awkward/strange etc.

Thinking on it now, it’s probably true that me and my clone, initially, would have had some great times. But then our conversations would be pretty limited because we’d always be thinking the same thing. So it might get boring and redundant and then 24 hours later things would start to change, because once the clone had experiences differing from those I experienced, they would begin to be shaped and molded by the world around them and no longer be identical to me. With my luck, our timelines would look something like this:

Okay, so I think street urchin is an age sensitive phrase, or possibly even a terribly outdated one. Also this reflects my downer world view but as a side note: at least this timeline is more realistic than Michael Crichton's Timeline. Aw Snap! Crichton burns aside, it’s hard enough comparing your life to strangers and friends and family; imagine if you had a clone and they lived your life better than you (I’m sure this is already the premise of several films).  It would be like a continual kick in the teeth.

I guess the real question from all of this is why was I thinking of being my own friend in high school? I guess, like every kid who has ever been through adolescence, I felt out of place. Deep down I craved someone who was closer to my own experience, someone who understood and someone I always felt comfortable around. Then again, maybe I thought this scenario up just because I wanted to tell my friends and get a laugh out of them because when I can get other people to laugh I care less about fitting in.