American Horror Story Season 3: Coven

Trailer for the next American Horror Story.

Although I was disappointed with Assylum, the Season 2 AHS, I just can’t get over how evilishly good the first season was. Admitedly, my obsession with AHS 1 was driven by the love story of Tate and Violet. Tate is the poster boy for Byronic heroes and with that Kurt Cobain vibe, I was totally sold. I also like Taissa Farmiga as Violet. She was emo but not annoyingly so.

I’m glad they’re back. I’m also looking forward to the return of Jessica Lange. I loved her character as Constance Langdon. She played an unlikeable but somehow still sympathetic southern lady of questionable motives. Now as the headmistress of this witch school (that is not Hogwarts) I’m sure she’ll give rise to another interesting character.

The story seems to be witch fight between Salem witches and Voodoo witches. I’m hoping it wouldn’t come across as just some silly cat fight. I think it’s safe to say women more than men will be watching this season. I’m hoping the spike in estrogen wouldn’t bring forth a constant stream of PMS jokes.

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My Tsondoku Project: Heart-Shaped Box & Graveminder

GraveminderI’m not sure why I’m suddenly drawn to darker books. Starting with Frankenstein, moving to Graveminder (disappointingly un-dark just with semi-dark themes) and the Heart-shaped Box by Stephen King’s son, Joe Hill.

Graveminder

Written by Melissa Mar, writer of the Wicked Lovely YA series, the book is her first foray into adult literature. Although I did like some of the Wicked Lovely books, my favorite being Ink Exchange, I found The Graveminder lacking in both adult themes and…well… darkness. It reads exactly like a YA book, only with late 20-something adult characters. The characters acted like sulky teenagers. Over and over again, Byron (yes that’s his name) would declare his undying love for Rebekkah(yup), the girl who seems to stubbornly cling to the notion that it’s wrong to love her dead stepsister’s boyfriend because she feels guilty although they’ve boinked a lot of times before.

Any of these ring a bell? Seriously…

I do love how Melissa Mar’s pacing moved the story forward. If I ever write my own book, I’d copy her style of breaking chapters into bite sized pieces. There were barely 2 pages per chapter. I actually read the book in two days while still doing other stuff.

I wanted to like the book but… The mythology could have been explored more and I wished, Marr didn’t shy away from darker and more gruesome scenes. As an adult book, I expected more, instead I think it barely scratched the surface.

But I heard this is going to be a series. I’m not sure I’d buy the next book in retail but I’ll probably look out for it in my next book bargain hunt.

All in all, it’s an easy, fast-paced but bland read.

Heart-Shaped Box

Heart-Shaped Box

I got my hardbound book on sale and promptly dropped it in flood waters. I got left with moldy and curled up pages which made it even bulkier than before. I could’ve read a more portable book but I felt compelled to read this one.

The book felt like a traditional ghost story to me. It’s about a 50-something goth rocker who bought a soul from an online auction. I found the rocker a bit cliche but there are some twists to the story that are unexpected but not original. Not to say that I didn’t enjoy inhabiting Judas Coyne’s world for a while.

I don’t think I’ll be re-reading this though. It didn’t give me any nightmares or anything but it’s not a world I would want to revisit any time soon. Having said that, I’m interested in other Joe Hill books. I like his uncluttered approach to description and believable dialogue. But I didn’t like his characters so much. Somehow they lack a certain spark that makes them entirely believable humans. For example is Craddock, the ghost. There’s not one redeeming quality about the guy. He’s a plain old villain through and through. Marybeth and Anna are typical groupies. And the rockstar is just a typical rockstar you can buy off-the shelf.

I did like that I know most of the musical references Joe Hill included in the book. I’m not sure how exactly this relates to my favorite Nirvana’s song  of the same title. Kurt Cobain was mentioned in passing just like the other references and another song was mentioned.

I heard that this was going to be turned into a movie but I don’t think it pushed through as the director dropped out in ’08.

Although this was not my favorite book, I’ll be looking forward to the next Joe Hill book I find… on sale. :)

Will We See Irene Adler in Sherlock Season 3?

Radio Times just posted a slightly-maybe spoiler that Lara Pulver has hinted that we might not have seen the last of the Woman. Read: http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-09-09/sherlocks-lara-pulver-on-series-3-return-i-didnt-say-you-wouldnt-be-seeing-me

I have a theory that we’ll see at least a flashback with her and Sherlock when they’re both in hiding. They will be monitoring things on the outside world together. Would they be doing anything else? (Hint: Boink! Boink!) I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Oh my poor Molly, this could not be good news for you :(

 

My Tsundoku Project: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

FrankensteinFinally! I just finished reading Frankenstein. Probably my least favorite monster but now that I’ve read the source material, of all the mythical creatures I’ve read and seen, he’s the one I relate to the most.

Hollywood pretty much ruined this creature for me with the over-the-top square everything: square face, square frame, square shoes. Bolts and screws and the green Hulk makeup. The original had none of that shit. Mary Shelley actually describes the monster as beautiful with flowing long black hair. He was 8 ft tall, yes, but actually had beautiful features. Well if you’re going to create a human from scratch, why not pick the best bits, right?

Reading the original text, you actually can sympathize with the monster. It’s actually Frankenstein’s fault his monster became a killing machine. If he’d only stayed with his creation and taught it to assimilate, he would have been a lovable Hagrid-like creature instead of an angry unlovable un-Shrek-y type of an ogre.

Frankenstein’s monster was not the bumbling idiot Hollywood movies often portrays. He’s actually an intellectual. He taught himself the language of his “cottagers” and learned to read and appreciate great literature. One of his favorite books was Paradise Lost where he sympathized with Satan rather than Adam, God’s first human creation. As a monster, ostracized and cast off from normal society, he feels unloved although he did nothing (yet) to deserve that kind of treatment and reaction.

Although Frankenstein was to blame for creating the monster in the first place, and then casting it off immediately after, the monster is certainly not blameless as he shows that he is capable to the highest degree of distinguishing right from wrong. They are both to blame for what happened to their victims. They both acted rashly mostly out of sheer rage and revenge. It is quite ironic that they are both intellectuals  and yet they let raw emotions dictate their action. 

Danny Boyle captures the novel perfectly in his theater production of Frankenstein featuring the two Sherlocks, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller, lthough he did add some more dramatic moments for the theater audiences. The rape scene in the end for one. For a moment, I thought I was going to read it but then again, it was the 1800s and a novel like that would’ve enraged the public.

Movie Marathon Weekend

A long weekend with nothing to do? It’s time for a movie marathon then! My eyes are all puffy and swollen but I. REGRET. NOTHING!

Beautiful Creatures

Critics didn’t care much for this Twilight-except-witches movie but I happen to enjoy it. First of all Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson are in it;  it’s quite surprising. Emma Thompson is her usual superb self but I don’t think Jeremy Irons took his role seriously as his character didn’t quite resonate with me.

Southern accents are usually my least favorite accent but ever since True Blood, I’ve found the accent charming and quaint. Special effects could’ve been better and nothing stands out as original except maybe hipsters with deep southern drawls. I did enjoy the story though it’s been told many times before *cough* The Craft.

Epic

Again, a story told a thousand times before. *cough* Fern Gully *cough* *cough* Avatar. it’s enjoyable for kids to watch but I didn’t much care for it. It’s an amalgamation of Honey I Shrunk The Kids  with a mixture of all other forest stories. You can predict scene by scene what happens next.

Identity Thief

I didn’t even finish watching the movie.

Ted

Seth McFarlane is a genius with a filthy vocabulary which is fine by me. Oh my God, I found myself crying over a damned stuffed bear man-whore with a bong.

Thirst

This movie is South Korea’s contribution to the whole vampire movie franchise. And may I just say, it’s a great vampire film. If you like Let Right One in, you’ll like this film. There are comedic elements yet it still disturbing and creepy. It’s fairly long though. I though it could’ve been edited more. I don’t think the movie needed the virus plot line at all.

The story is about a horny but guilty (think Opus Dei) priest-turned-vampire through a blood transfusion. He develops feelings for this childhood friend of his who’s married to a pathetic man-boy. It’s got some racy scenes but one scene in particular is hilarious as well as creepy. I can’t explain it without spoiling the movie so just watch it!

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

The premise is awesome but the execution is flawed. I usually like Steve Buscemi but I didn’t like him in this movie. I keep expecting Will Ferrell to come out in all his velvet and glittering magical glory but alas, he’s not in this movie. Jim Carrey was awesome as the Chriss Angel-like magician doing ridiculous stunts as substitute for traditional magic acts. I don’t know what Jim Carrey’s drinking but I’d sure love some of that fountain of youth serum. He looks hot! He’s certainly working hard on those abs.

The movie was enjoyable but forgettable. I feel like it could’ve been a great movie with right casting maybe and a more unique spin to a story you already know by heart. The last illusion was hilarious and I could believe that some magician could actually do that if they don’t fear being sued by hundreds of people.

Live Action Princess Movies You’d Want Your Daughter to See

As I said before, be careful of fairy tales for children as it could affect their taste level, body image, values when they grow up. Like me. Haha! If they want to read fairy tales, get them the original Grimm’s and Hans Christian Andersons and none of that Disney-fied BS. (the Little Mermaid died and turned to see weed(?) or something, the dude who climbed Rapunzel’s tower became blind, Cinderella’s sister got her part of her foot chopped off to fit the tiny slipper) It’ll give them nightmares but at least they’ll be prepared to face life knowing… shit happens.

I got to admit though that Disney is making progress with the later Princess tales like The Princess and the Frog and Brave. For live action princess tales, I recommend:

1. The Princess Bride – I just finished re-watching this movie that came out in 1987. Starring a young and uber handsome Cary Elwes and Robin Wright, an 80’s supermodel. This is where the line “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” originate’d from. (Yes, it’s not from a mob movie). I love the humor and only thing I didn’t like was Buttercup, the princess bride. She always looked a little stiff to me. I could also use subtitles for Andre the giant’s lines as I can barely comprehend what he’s saying. It’s still a must-see movie for everyone though. I suspect that most modern comedy fairy tale story can trace their inspiration from this film.

2. Ever After – Starring Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston among other superb casts, this movie turns the Cinderella story into something feminists would see with their daughters. I remember seeing an interview with the director and writer, Andy Tennant, where he mentions his inspiration came from his own daughters and what Cinderella story he wants to tell or show them. In this version of the story, there’s is no magic but there is a fairy godmother in the form of Leonardo Da Vinci. It’s truly amazing how I could believe this history. If we didn’t know better we’d say that once upon a time, there was a girl named Danielle, a fan girl of Thomas Moore’s Utopia, who was friends with the great da Vinci and was married to a prince.

3. Enchanted – I’d call this one a deconstructed Disney princess movie. The movie parodies all Disney princess tropes like characters randomly bursting into songs, animal house slaves (or minions) you don’t have to pay to clean your apartment, the fall in love at the first sight and get married the next scene, puffy skirts and even puffier hairdos. I just love this movie that not only teaches young daughters the value of dating before marriage, but also how to thoroughly spend your daddy’s credit card in an “emergency.” I love Isla Fisher, I mean Amy Adams in this role with Dr. McDreamy. Cyclops was hilarious too.