Exploring: Twilight


I finally rented Twilight.  It is a horrible move.  It can be summed up as awkward, boring, and the worst portrayal of vampires I have ever watched.

If only the project didn't take it's self seriously then Twilight might have made a mildly entertaining vampire spoof movie but unfortunately that was not the intent.

By Emerian Rich

  • Read Emerian Rich's full review here:
    • Sadly, seeing Twilight was NOT the thrill of a lifetime.  In fact, if I didn’t love the books so much, I doubt if I would have stayed.
    • The screen writing, or the way the high school students were directed (I can’t tell which) was very Disney sit-com style.  I can’t blame the whole cast for this, I just think the styling and direction were lacking somehow.  It was almost like they focused only on Bella and Edward and the rest of the cast was an afterthought.  Even the scenes where Bella wasn’t with Edward seemed phoned in.
    • Overall, this flick will be a must see for all teen girls in love with Edward.  It finally gives them a face to fall in love with.  As for fans not in love with Robert Pattinson, we’ll have to hope the wolves help pull the second film out of the High School Musical demographic.

The DVD is out March 17, 2009

More Twilight Fun

Early Look

Twilight will hit theaters Friday November 21, 2008 and unlike many out there I’m not eager to see it.

I started out with mixed emotions over this movie the initial trailer was not that exciting.  After watching the Twilight Final Trailer I got a little more excited about this project but mainly because of the vampire element in it.  After all I'm a sucker for vampires.  The official site looks nice and loads quickly for a movie site.

Then I learned about all of the emo mentality that infused the characters and their perspective and was totally turned off.  Sparkeling vampires in the light... wtf.

Twilight is based on the book Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1).  I tried to read the book and could not even make it past the beginning part it was horrible.  Not very promising for the movie.

This is not even a renter for me.

Let me know what you think.  Will you go to see Twilight in the theater or rent it?  If you have seen it in the theater should I go see it and why?

Twilight Final Trailer

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Manga Review: Alice in the Country of Hearts by Quinrose

Alert: Herbivores beware, rabbit discrimination! Warn your kits!

“These aren’t rabbit ears! They’re just long! I swear I am not a rabbit. I eat carrot cookies, cake, and tea. I like stuff made from carrots but I could never eat a carrot straight, so I’m obviously NOT a rabbit.”

How dare Alice, group people together based on the size of their ears! This is just one of the amusing quips in an awesome new manga series Alice in the Country of Hearts by Quinrose.

The first thing that drew me to these beautiful books was the art. Illustrated by Soumei Hoshino, the detailed display of clocks, sweets, architecture, and fashion is phenomenal.

I think any Alice lover will enjoy the new twists on our most beloved story. First, Alice is not the Alice we know. Instead of being curious and following the white rabbit, he tricks her into falling down the hole and then traps her in wonderland by force-feeding her a potion through a kiss. She finds herself in a land where everyone has a clock for a heart and they are fighting a war based on reincarnation. The characters are so detailed and interesting, I’m not even sure I can pick my favorite one.

Our favorite Mad Hatter in this book is Blood Dupre, a Mafia Don who leads The Hatters in war against the other factions. He is a gothic dandy, more interested in seducing Alice than the battle at hand. In his posse are two young boys dressed in fashionable military outfits and a non-rabbit enforcer named Elliot March. Something this author picked up on from the Lewis Carroll book, that I never thought of was the possibility of the White Rabbit and the March Hare fighting. I found this storyline beyond amusing.

Another sect of Wonderland is the Amusement Park District where Alice can enjoy all the normal sort of rides while being shuffled around the place by overly peppy park attendants. The owner of the park is Mary Gowland, an older hippie man who takes to drastic mood swings and plays the violin very badly. Gowland and Dupre are in a war because Dupre makes fun of his name, which when said in such a way, sounds like Merry Go Round. The fights between Gowland and Dupre are fun to read. Gowland can turn his violin into a gun and Dupre doesn’t even flinch when his hat gets shot off.

Boris Airay plays the part of the Cheshire cat.  A cosplay kitty boy who loves to get in scrapes. He is often found by Alice, in the woods, sometimes nude, with horrible injuries that heal when he licks them.

The Queen of Hearts is pretty much the same as in the original Alice story so far, not much is known about her yet. The caterpillar is Nightmare, a handsome, eye-patched man dressed in elegant blacks. He mainly just gives more info to Alice, explaining terms the wonderland folk use and adding a sense of foreboding as he hints at dangers unseen.

Two new characters to the Alice tale are perhaps the most interesting. Julius Monrey is in charge of the Clock Tower Plaza, a neutral zone in wonderland and the place where all clock hearts are repaired. Ace is a knight from Heart Castle that helps Julius recover the hearts when someone is killed. He seems a double agent, but can’t navigate to save his life. Not too smart, you might think he would fall prey to the Hatters, but he is a pro at sword fighting so that keeps him safe.

Even though this is a manga about the cheery, happy world of wonderland, the author keeps that sinister air about it so that you are just as curious and frightened as Alice. The most chilling part of this retelling is the connection between the shadow people and the servants with no face. I’ll let you unravel that one on your own.

I’m excited to tell you that the third book in the series is coming out on June 1st, just in time for my birthday! Volume four should release in August.

Check out these awesome books at

Book Review: Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is still alive today … as a vampire."

With a tagline like that, I could hardly leave my copy collecting dust at the bookstore. Jane Bites Back is an awesome read for any Jane Austen lover. Though set in a world where Jane is still alive, and a vampire, this book sways more towards chick lit than horror. The gore in this novel is supremely tame and safe for all ages.

Jane is a bookstore owner who boils about not being able to collect royalties from her books. From the author finger puppets to the JA massage books, Jane is rather sick of it all! But Jane has a plan. She will attempt to publish her last great novel, the one that no one has seen yet, and she’ll try to do it without her secret getting out.

Perhaps my favorite part is the first chapter in which she has to entertain a Jane Austen wannabe author after a reading. You can just feel the steam rise as Jane hears her put down JA fans as if they are mindless zombies and even slight her own work.

“I don’t get the big deal about Austen myself... I could barely get through them... Talk about boring.”

Even Mr. Darcy wouldn’t expect Jane to control her blood thirst after a proclamation such as that! The author spins this tale so masterfully that I was still guessing at the end. Which beau would she finally get together with, what well-known literature queen was behind her attacks and would anyone find out about her true identity?

Michael Thomas Ford has successfully transitioned into the big time with this awesome paperback and I applaud it. Mostly known for his gay-themed novels and instruction books, he has shown that he too belongs on the bestsellers list. It is about time he gets some main stream recognition for his talented writing style.

I am pleased to hear that Jane Bites Back is only one of a trilogy. After reading you will see, Ford left it pretty wide open – anything can happen!

Manga Review: Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya

Fruits Basket or Furuba by Natsuki Takaya is one of the most popular mangas of all time. Beginning in 1999, there are 23 volumes of girly, teal pastely silliness to wile away the time if you are a pretty, pink Lolita who loves puppies and cupcakes. Or, at least that’s what I thought. I never really paid attention to this manga series because of the impression the covers gave me and had my best friend not pushed it into my hand to borrow, I would still be under the misapprehension that Fruits Basket was mindless drivel.

I was mistaken. First, the plot is interesting and the characters likeable. Second, Fruits Basket is a story that any of us can relate to. It’s the story of being forgotten or left out.

I never connected the name Fruits Basket with the game we played as children where everyone is a fruit name and when the teacher yells “Apples and Oranges” everyone jumps up and tries to switch seats like crazy people. Apparently, when the main character, Tohru, was named in this game, she was given the title “Rice Ball” which we all know is not a fruit, and therefore would never be called. This is just one way in which Tohru is treated like an outsider.

An orphan after her mother dies, she is thrown out of her grandfather’s house because he is remodeling. Having nowhere else to go, she opts to stay in a tent in the woods where she will be out of everyone’s way. Luckily, she meets her neighbors who are a group of misfits like her and they offer her to stay with them instead of living in the tent. Soon she finds out that the misfits she’s living with are actually representations of Chinese Zodiac signs and when she hugs them, they turn into the Zodiac animal they embody. Not very ideal for the guy she’s in love with to turn into a rat in the middle of a hug, but this is just another obstacle in Tohru's quest for happiness. For me, the book was a series of Murphy ’s Law illustrations. They are the kind of issues we run into in everyday life. Just when you get promoted, the company closes. Just when you feel on top of the world, something happens that plunges you into depression.  For Tohru, just when she finds a family to love her, they turn into animals.

But Tohru, despite her troubles, has an excellent outlook on life. She is a shining star in the house and seems to make them all reevaluate what problems they have to face on a daily basis.

The beginning few pages of Fruits Basket #1, does have that bad printing that I sometimes talk about. There are extra side notes from the author that we enjoy such as giving insider information, tips, background on character names, etc… The extras in the back include two pages on the Chinese Zodiac, instructions on how to play Dai Hin Min a game mentioned in the story, and a two page interview with the girl who did the voice work for Tohru in Fruits Basket - the animated series.

This manga talks about something that a lot of us fandom enthusiasts already know:

Your friends can be a family.

Even if your parents are dead, your other family members are mean to you or don’t accept you, you can find people who care about you and who truly enjoy spending time with you. Sometimes, these people can be more valuable than anyone who shares your blood. Most of us in fandom understand this and we will always have more enriching experiences because we know there is someone out there that we can relate to.

Quite a bit to discover in just the first book of a series I shied away from for many years. I’d like to say thank you to my best friend Ari for bullying me into reading it. What’s that saying about judging a book by it’s cover? I’m wrong!

Checkout Fruits Basket at while there you can also find Fruits Basket - the animated series.

Review: Push

Overall Rating: 9

Push is a very entertaining and technically good movie.  The setting has a lot of depth and fascinating nuances that really got into my head.  The problem with Push was that it lacked texture but still has a lot of potential.  I would give it a 9 out of 10.

The Story:

A group of young American expatriates with telekinetic, telepathic, and clairvoyant abilities go in search for a secret that might be able to bring down a clandestine U.S. government agency referred to as “Division.” They try to find the only woman that ever escaped from “Division”. She is their only key to finding out where the secret is hidden.

The powers

I loved the way they did the powers in Push.  They gave each type a lot of power but also significant limitations.  This kept them from falling into the problem of having to constantly up the leads power until you wonder what is the point and why don’t they just blink fixing the conflict.

The different types of powers are:

  • Movers who have telekinetic abilities to move things and even to the point to create a shield.
  • Pushers can push specific thoughts, memories, emotions and even gain control of another.
  • Watchers have prescient visions
  • Bleeders have the ability to emit a sonic attack
  • Sniffs can track people or objects like a psychic bloodhound but require touch to do so
  • Shifters can shift one object into another for a period of time but mass must be similar
  • Wipers can temporarily or permanently wipe memory
  • Stitchers are psychic healers

Proper Use of Violence Action

The discipline displayed with the use of violence force was impressive.  There are plenty of action sequences, gun battles and things exploding in cool ways yet there was a wonderful restraint on the action keeping it from crossing over into violence. For instance the lead was beat really badly and on deaths door but they stopped from killing him because his death would stop them from getting the girl.  The second time because it would be senseless death because he could not stop the future foresaw and he liked the future and didn't want to accidently change it with a senseless death.

Lacks Texture

Texture has to do more with the feel of a movie, combining elements from: mood, a lived in setting, atmosphere, proper style, flow and even little things like which lies are used to tell the story.   Texture is best understood by thinking of it like tasting wine or food.  With Push they had all of the technical elements correct but ended up making something with a bland texture.  After finishing the movie I could get into the different aspects and rationally appreciate the experience but I was neither brought to a static moment, cathartic moment, pushed away nor pulled toward anything.

Best Moments

  • The ending gives a nice set up for a sequel.  I liked how they ended it my expectation slightly different.
  • The push moment on the roof with the security unit!
  • Why Bleeders think of the poor fish

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Manga Review: Psychic Academy by Katsu Aki

7331448The National Psychic Academy: A place for psychically gifted youth to expand their powers, be hit on by frisky co-eds, and meet talking bunnies. Poor Ai doesn’t even believe that he has psychic gifts. How can he be expected to survive at a school where his brother is a hero and his talking bunny keeps pushing him into embarrassing situations? Psychic Academy rated 13+ reads like a schoolboy locker room chat. With many racy shots, young girl’s bathing, naked little fairies, and several “accidental” boob grabs, this book seems written by a young boy, for young boys.

The bunny, who claims to be Master Boo, speaks like Andrew Dice Clay and seems to want to pick up girls more than help Ai learn his skills.

“Now watch an’ learn as I pluck a copula young, unsuspecting, ripe tomatoes.”

Ai’s brother, Zero or “The Vanquisher of the Dark Overlord”, is over the top with his two page intro where the artist paints him like an old-time comic book hero, metal codpiece, cape blowing in the breeze. It get’s worse later, when Zero fights off a bully, using the clothes vanishing technique and tells the bully.

“That’s terrifying coming from a fool with his wee wee hanging out.”

Ai’s roommate is portrayed as the “stupid foreigner”.  I think he is supposed to be Middle Eastern and the way they treat him I find offensive. He wears robes, sleeps like some sort of Kama Sūtra pretzel, has a symbol on his head and is always doing dumb things.

If you’re not a male pre-teen, you’ll probably hate this one. For me, it was slightly entertaining because of the few magic fights involved, but not worth reading more volumes.


None. But you do get to see a preview of the next volume. Featuring another accidental boob grab!

Still interested? Check out Psychic Academy at