Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

•November 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Just when I thought I might have finally found a decent female author, Bitten comes to crush my hopes. Granted I’ve only read 2 chapters, but in those chapters the story and the characters flopped.

Bitten is a book about the ONLY female werewolf and how she tries to live her life despite her ‘handicap’. Later there’s something about a werewolf uprising (what a surprise, an uprising in a werewolf novel, never heard that before) and I don’t know I haven’t gotten there yet.

The main character, Elena, is described as being strong willed; and yet so many times within just the first two chapters she smashes this concept. I mean in the prologue she changes in her werewolf form and starts stalking this guy. while she does it she thinks about killing him fast and then she says something about not being able to control that primal urge and she just seems to accept it. There is no way you can call a character that gives up that easily ‘strong willed’. If she were really strong willed, then she would at least think about how much she’s trying to hold it at bay, to flush all those ideas from her head, no matter how deeply ingrained into her werewolf psyche. Strong willed does not mean bad-ass, it means that you will fight something, and you will fight it hard (whether it’s tangible or not). I will say that she is a bad-ass capable of holding her own, but she isn’t strong willed. People look up the definitions to words before you start using them improperly.

Another thing, the author expects the reader to believe that in a world with over 6 billion people, where over 1,000 animal attacks happen within the year, that there are only 35 werewolves. Now i can understand if they believed they were the only ones due to living in a secluded area with minimal contact from the outside world; but seeing how she introduced something about werewolves having a psychic link with each other, she pretty much threw that reason out the window. Also, even more ridiculous, that out of 35 werewolves, there is only one female. If these people are as primal as she described, then there should definitely be more. And I don’t mean born wolves (cause in this book only the males get the ‘gene’), I mean turned. 35 males that are extremely primal and only go to women for sex and not one of them turned one? Not even by accident? Not possible. This woman shatters the suspension of disbelief faster than a sonic boom shatters a glass wall.

Now I may be too hard on this book, but honestly if you fall flat in the first two chapters, you really need to question how well you think things out. If you’re going to write a book, put effort into it, don’t just half ass it. For the book I’m writing I actually have several sheets dedicated solely to developing characters, making sure the plot makes sense, working on every little detail so I’m not left going “ummmmm” if someone ever asked me about it. It’s this kind of writing that makes people say things like women are only good for writing sappy romances.You reinforce the stereotype, and honestly we really need to bring that back up. Especially after Stephanie Meyer knocked it down by a couple of HUNDRED pegs.

Now for slightly off topic rant. Why does everyone like the Howling? I’m not saying it’s awful, but I’m not saying it’s great either. People praise the crap out of it, but why? The plot can hold up okay but you have to admit it’s really weak. as for the characters, they’re not bland, but they’re also not well-developed. They’re just ‘meh’.

Never mind, I’m getting tired. Might elaborate later, might not. Seeing as I really don’t want to waste my time with either one. The only thing I can say that is positive about both is that now I have a basis for things not to do when writing a story or fleshing out characters.

Oh and before someone gives me grief about Meyer. She is a terrible writer, and if you want to argue this point further, let me leave you with this one simple question: If Meyer is as good as everyone says she is, then why hasn’t she won an award for her writing(teen choice awards don’t count) Stephen King and J.K. Rowling have won several, why hasn’t Meyer?


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Things wrong with Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes

•October 18, 2009 • Leave a Comment
Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes
Image via Wikipedia

Found Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Heroes on Nicktoons, thought I’d give a shot. Unfortunately, it suffers from a mess of problems.

  • Reed Richards: His design is okay, you can believe he’s somewhere in his 20’s. However, his voice just flat out sucks. I mean it just DOESN’T  sound right. You see Reed and you imagine him having a completely different voice, but then you get the principal from Smallville, and it just really doesn’t mesh well. Also, he doesn’t really give an impression of being the genius leader of the FF. Sound like a guy imitating a genius by saying a lot of scientific hoopla, but not a genius.
  • Johnny Storm: There is nothing to like about him. His design would be okay, but his hair is just weird. I know it’s an anime style and gravity defying hair is nothing strange, but its just weird. I mean any incarnation of Johnny kept a short cut (different style depending on decade) but this is just off. Not only that but the color is lighter than Susan’s. They’re supposed to be brother and sister, but their hair color is different, when in the comics they’ve always had the same color. Anyway, design aside, they really overplay him. They try to make him out to be a selfish idiot, but they just go too far and he just seems like he has ADD. I mean, there’s this one scene where Reed shows everyone that their neighbors have been acting EXTREMELY out of the norm. All the FF asks questions regarding it (obviously and rightfully concerned) and Johnny goes from slight concern (“What’s going on” he says) to asking if anyone wants pizza. Now I could understand if he said it in a tone that implied he was trying to calm everyone down with a joke due to the terrifying situation, but no, he was completely serious. And that’s just one scene. In the comics Johnny’s been selfish and a joker, yeah, but when a situation gets serious, he in turn get serious as well. He may be an idiot, but at least he knows whens the time to joke and when to get focused, and this Johnny was joking all the time. Just outright hateful.
  • Susan Storm: She’s okay. She’s strong and independent and doesn’t take crap from the other FF members, I’ll give her that. However she suffers from Super Heroine Dumbass Disorder. Basically meaning, even if she has pretty strong powers, the heroine will either be easily  taken out, captured, or she will just stand around (I’m not kidding) and wait her turn to fight. For example, in one episode, the group is attacked by the mole man and some weird mud creatures. They do the standard “showing everyone’s part of the fight” but eventually Reed, Johnny, and Ben get taken out of action one way or another. And then they show Susan, who apparently has been standing around doing nothing (They don’t even show her fighting in the background) while they were fighting. And no she wasn’t preoccupied with enemies of her own, she was just there. Alone, watching. And the minute she tries to attack, she gets captured, 5 seconds flat.
  • Ben Grimm: He’s left out alot, so the only thing to say is that he’s rarely touched upon.
  • Skrulls: Okay I can understand aliens having a shaky knowledge of humans so they’d get a few things wrong when trying to impersonate them. However, they have a full scale model of the Baxter building, all rooms in it, all neighbors in it, including people who live outside of it (Alicia and Willy) and they have no idea how humans function or how their neighbors behave. First of all, how did they know what they looked like? They either:
  1. Observed them via camera. Which would have meant that they would at least know how they behave.
  2. Scanned their minds when they captured them. But that would mean that they would still know how their neighbors act. Also if they did scan their minds, then there wouldn’t be a need to observe them to see how their powers work.

So the skrulls just don’t make sense. I mean an advanced alien species and they can’t get human physiology right even if they observed them in a an attempt to trick the FF? It reeks of Tim Story plot holes, and the last person you want to write like is Tim Story.

  • Soldiers: just soldiers, especially the SHIELD ones. In the Hulk episode they are sent to take out both the FF and the Hulk. But they’re sent in without any info about how to take them out. They act surprised at each one’s display of abilities. The worst had to be trying to catch Susan (one of them actually says “We can’t find the INVISIBLE woman”) and only after she hits them do they turn on their infrared; which sucks cause  it only shows flashes of her as she moves (like if the infrared cut frames). I mean they are supposed to be heavily funded and they can’t even afford a pair or GOOD infrared devices.

There’s a hell of alot more, but they escape me at the moment. Overall this show is pretty to look at, but then again so were the movies, and everyone knows how those turned out. Hopefully they might make a whole new series what with all the Marvel reboots being planned.

I’m Back…For Now…

•September 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’m not much of a blog writer. I think it up, but the prose leaves my head as soon as I think it. Anyway, I’ve been busy drawing and writing. I’m writing a book, so far I’m about halfway through the story. I need to put it on hold to fix all the details. Character development, dialogue, and fixing a few little things that I thought might be plot holes. Anyway I’ve cleared up any inconsistencies, and I’ve given my characters a little bit more back story to them. Before they just seemed a little flat, at least to me, but I’m a little OCD like that. By the way, the writing there is a hell of a lot better than how it is here (I’ve learned that writing like that on a blog is not a good idea).

I’ve been doing some more drawings. A character from my story, a ballpoint pen pic of Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) with a massive gun, and some simple cell shaded pics of Little Red Riding Hood, Alice and Dorothy.

Anyway something I really want to rant about is the new show, The Vampire Diaries. I already had a low opinion about it considering that everyone has been writing vampire romances since Twilight. Simply put, this show is slightly better than Twilight, but nowhere near as perfect as True Blood. Now I know that everyone in the show is in high school so I shouldn’t expect much development from them; but honestly they are all carbon copies of each other, with only a few minor differences. The acting was bearable, and the effects were okay; but I couldn’t help cringing every time they went for a cheap scare. “Ooooo, a cemetery(how original)! Ooooo, a crow ( who hasn’t done that before )! Ooooo, mysterious fog ( the origins of which we will not question). I mean seriously, this one episode rips off of several different horror movies that its more of a clip show than an episode. And another thing, what is wrong with that Stefan guy? I mean I know he’s supposed to be angsty and whatnot but come on! Is the furrowed brow look the only expression he knows how to make ? I mean Angel from Buffy has more reasons to brood, but at least there was some variety to his facial expressions. Other than that its a show catered to the already brain dead fans of Twilight. As for people looking for a good vampire show, check out True Blood. There’s a great plot, good action, INCREDIBLE character development for absolutely every single character ( even the newly turned Jessica!). You can also catch the first three seasons of Buffy on Hulu. Its wayyyy better than Twilight or Vampire Diaries could ever be; having strong characters, good plot lines, and great action.  

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The Secret of NIMH

•July 30, 2009 • Leave a Comment
The Secret of NIMH
Image via Wikipedia

In light of the recent news, I’ve decided to review this movie. Which is simple enough as you can find the film entirely on Hulu.

First off, the movie’s style is dark and gritty. One of the things I love about Don Buth’s animation is that he doesn’t sugarcoat settings. Don’t get me wrong, Disney animation is wonderful in its own right, but even I admit that they only show the audience a sweet version of any frightening scene. For example, take this scene from Beauty and the Beast: batb_0033and compare it to this scene from the Secret of NIMH:

0-412663652f9ee8ddSure the Beast’s Castle is dark but it isn’t really scary. The settings in NIMH are positively grimy, dirty, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. It’s a shame Disney doesn’t (or rather can’t) follow this example. Simply because parents will whine and complain that its too scary for the children. I mean, that’s the whole point of the scene, to scare you, its not supposed to be sweet, it’s supposed to scare the crap out of you. Anyway the settings are spectacular. They range from charming and cozy, to extravagant and intricate, and also to grimy and terrifying. For that I give the atmosphere an A.

Now for the characters. So far we have a surprising amount of them. There’s the heroine Mrs. Brisby, her four rambunctious children, the doctor Mr. Ages, the rats of NIMH, Nicodemus, the Great Owl, the humans, etc… At times it seems that there are too many characters for one movie. There was a subplot involving some other rats that is only lightly touched upon, and then resolved almost instantly. Also some characters I feel shouldn’t have really been in there as they don’t really do much. Like the crow Jeremy for instance. You can tell he was just there for comic relief, but even some comic relief is essential to the story. Jeremy was never really essential, even when Mrs. Brisby needed it the most she just sent him away.Then we have the Great Owl and Nicodemus. Both are old and weary, though one is frightening and the other is wise. Their parts were cool, but rather short and rushed.

Now as for Mrs. Brisby herself, shes a wonderful character. I think what I like the most is that she isn’t some wily trickster or a dashing and strong hero. She’s just a worried mother fighting to keep her children alive. She feels fear just as any one would, but she acts in spite of it (which to me is real courage). Especially when she faces the Great Owl. The audience can see that shes scared out of her mind, but she pulls through for the sake of her son, and that’s really inspiring. Overall, I’d give the characters a B.

Music. The music was wonderful. Credit definitely due to Jerry Goldsmith. It went from eerie and suspenseful to uplifting and sweet in all the right moments. And I especially love the underlying tune that plays every now and then. I give the music an A.

Animation. I know I already rambled on about the settings, but now I’m going to talk about the character animations, which were just as exquisite as the settings. One thing I love is some of the extra detail that was thrown in. Like the cobwebs that covered the Great Owl, or the warts and blisters on Nicodemus’ fingers. That attention to detail sort of made their characters much more real. Animation, undoubtedly gets an A.

And now the plot. It’s simple enough. Mrs. Brisby’s son Timothy has pneumonia and he needs to stay in bed. Unfortunately the farmers are about to plow the field so they have to move, which poses a problem as Timothy could catch a chill if he goes outside. So Brisby asks for help from the Great Owl, who tells her to seek help from the rats, more specifically, Nicodemus.

One thing that bugged me a tad was the fantastical element. There was science involved, and that’s explained; but there’s this whole aspect surrounding a red amulet that is never given much clarity. Sure is emphasized that its important, and it’s obviously magical; but where did it come from? Did the humans make it? Or did they simply find it? And why was it important that one of the rats not get it? Those sort of things threw me off, but either way its didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie. I’d like to give the plot an A, but due to the questions left unanswered I’ll have to give it a B.

All in all, this movie is great. I’m sorry to say I’ve run out of fancy language to describe it, but I have. It’s a charming but dark movie with great visuals and a great plot(despite some of its little holes). Overall, this movie is a classic piece of animation, and quite frankly I believe it is Don Bluth’s best work. I give this movie an A, and hope that it is left untouched because a shoddy remake will only disgrace it just like it’s god awful sequel.

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•July 30, 2009 • 7 Comments
The Secret of NIMH
Image via Wikipedia

My, my, my I haven’t posted in quite a while. Possibly because there really isn’t much to write about. It’s been the same old routine again and again.

I wake up early, despite the fact that go to bed near midnight, leaving me a bit sleep deprived. I draw, I make charms out of clay, I watch Frasier. Makes me wish that college would start up soon. Though I’d also wish it shouldn’t. I made a promise to myself that I’d finish writing something I’ve been working on, but I’ve barely touched it all summer.  Damn you Procrastination! You are my greatest rival!!!! That and Stride Gum (Those little Spearmint demons).

Anywho, rant time! I’ve recently seen an little article gracing the Yahoo! Home page:

Good God, I think I just died a little on the inside. I mean honestly Hollywood when did anyone ever say that the Secret of NIMH was a bad movie? Who said it needed to be redone? Because frankly that person needs to be smacked, and with a rusty paddle so that the message sticks.

The Secret of NIMH was incredible, dark, and best of all, it didn’t treat children like they were morons. It took something appealing like anthropomorphic animals and gave it something intelligent like the plot. What’s more is that the animation was incredible! Everything moved and flowed so beautifully.

From the motherly Mrs. Brisby, to the wizened(look it up) Nicodemus, and to the eerie and delightfully frightening Great Owl.

This movie was, and I’m sure a lot of people would agree with me, perfect. As in “NO NEED FOR IMPROVEMENT”. So why the bloody hell does anyone think that giving it the G-Force treatment would be a good thing? Honestly, just because kids are easily entertained doesn’t mean we should treat them like their I.Q. falls down below average. I mean Hollywood should at least try to have a reasonable plot, not just pretty visuals. This is the exact reason why I love Disney movies. Disney actually takes the time to think things through, having various sessions and discussions to figure out how the plot is going to flow and what is in between. It seems that when anyone else tries to make a children’s movie, they decide “” Hey F*** it! Kids aren’t that smart, so lets not even try”.

Geez, the new generation is going to be full of drooling monkeys if this keeps up.

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•July 16, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, I’ve certainly been busy. I’ve been working on a picture of Thumbelina (my interpretation).

Finished coloring her, now for the bg.

Finished coloring her, now for the bg.

I’ve also picked up a new book called “The Time Traveler’s Wife”. Seems interesting with a unique plot, and that’s only wit having read 40 or so pages.

Now on to something else… Harry Potter.

I’ve seen the Half-Blood Prince, and now I’m at a loss for words. I want to say it’s good, it’s okay, it’s interesting; but overall the best I can say is I liked the movie, but I’m not buying the DVD. Maybe because I”m a bit of a book purist and I love the books. I mean, to me, this movie seemed to focus solely on relationships. Ron and Lavender, Ron and Hermione, Harry and Ginny, etc…And when the issue with Dumbledore finally came around, it seemed rushed. The entire movie is roughly 2 hours and thirty minutes, and the locket plot along with the “battle” happened within those last thirty minutes. This was a major plot point, and they turned it into something minor, focusing on who’s dating who. I don’t mind character development, and it’s great that they bothered to do so as opposed to other movies that gives us characters with cardboard personalities, but at least let us know about the other plot instead of setting it aside until it’s ready. As for the deal with the actual Half-Blood Prince, it was mentioned and then it was like it vanished and reappeared when it was convenient.

Another gripe I have is with the casting of Tom Riddle. I think they deliberately went out of their way to find someone that looked like the kid from The Omen. The whole point of Tom Riddle was that if you saw him you couldn’t tell he was an evil little bastard. Why did they have to get a new actor, the previous Tom Riddle was perfect, and they simply couldn’t cast him because was nearing 30? Has the director suddenly forgotten about the CGI used in X-Men the Last Stand. If they can make Patrick Stewart and Ian Mckellen look 20 years younger, then it shouldn’t be a problem to make a 30 year old look like a teenager, especially considering that his looks haven’t changed much since that movie.

Anyway, the movie was okay at best, and the effects were beautiful. But regardless of that my favorite movie will always be Chamber of Secrets. CoS was extravagant! It was a perfect adaptation of the books, and isn’t that what a movie should be? Simply taking a written story and giving it moving visuals. Why do we need to add scenes to something that was perfect by itself? And isn’t that the whole reason we watch a movie, to see what we’ve read adapted into a movie with no change to the original story. What’s more is that Sorcerer’s Stone and CoS didn’t need the color filters used in the subsequent films. They managed just fine without adding a constant hue to it.

Oh, well my rant is over. Buh-Bye


•July 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

There was, is, and forever will be, ONLY ONE Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; and his name was Fredric March. There is no need to remake it, because there is absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. The entire movie along with March’s performance was beautifully executed so there should be no need for a shoddy remake that would only lessen this classic. However, Hollywood in it’s perpetual bad taste and Keanu Reeves in his cycle of ruining previously perfectly portrayed characters, have decided to ruin this remake as well. There’s more info here:

My God. They never bloody learn. Instead of making pieces of crap, why don’t they re-release it in theaters to let the newer generations know about the classics.