Walking Dead

Most Zombie shows are boring excuses to do terribly violent things to our neighbors.  I suppose just writing this will bring the wrath of Zombie fans down on me like a crowd of walkers after a gunshot in Atlanta, but season 1 left me with such mixed feelings.

This show was a different experience for me than most genre series. Usually, I am only moderately interested in the first episode and then with each passing episode my interest grows.

With Walking Dead I loved the first episode. It was everything I wanted in a series, and reminded me of everything I loved about Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It was suspenseful and thrilling and introduced interesting characters.  

But after the first episode, everything changed. I am not sure if the quality went down or if I was immunized to the techniques they used to engender suspense.

Don't get me wrong, there were scenes that I liked in the later episodes, but the magic of the first episode never returned. I found the plots to be overly predictable. They foreshadowed every event so well, I knew when everything was going to happen, and each event happened right on queue.

As a cord-cutter, it will be a while before I can watch season 2. Hopefully, they will focus more on the characters, which is the strength of the series, and less on the plot devices and obvious story models they did in season 1.

Resident Evil Afterlife Trailer 2

Exploring: Resident Evil Afterlife Trailer 2

Second trailer is out and it helps to clarify some of the conflict that we will see between Alice and The Umbrella Corporation.  I like that there is more footage giving a different perspective on what to expect in the film, aka less of a Matrix feeling.

I want one of these...

Trailer 1

The next in the Resident Evil movie franchise has it's first trailer, watch it above.  It looks like a Resident Evil movie which is good.  This is one of the few franchises that were able to get their movies to look and feel more like the game with out looking like a bad movie.

Milla Jovovich returns to reprise her role as Alice!

The trailer is really good:  I get to see the set up for some of the boss battles.  Some teasers for what different kind of mutated enemies we will get to see and the set up for the condition of everything after the outbreak.


Resident Evil: Afterlife picks up some time after the events of Resident Evil: Extinction.  Roaming the world searching for any remaining survivors Alice enters the ruins Los Angeles.   She stumbles onto a base of Umbrella surrounded by zombies.  Finding a group of survivors hiding out She then teams up with them to help free another group being held in a prison.  Among those prisoners she finds Claire's brother, Chris Redfield.

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Book Review: Dawn of the Dreadfuls

In honor of Father’s Day, I want to talk about what a good father does in times of crisis.

Does he throw caution to the wind and protect his children above all else? Yes.

Does he deny society standards to give his children the tools to defend themselves in case he is devoured by zombies? Yes.

And finally, does he take pride in a brood of his own progeny that can defeat flesh hungry adversaries at every pass? Absolutely.

Mr. Bennet was such a man and I’d like to suggest Dawn of the Dreadfuls as an example, nay, an instruction manual for the fathers of today. For the modern father faces many of the challenges that Mr. Bennet did.

In Dawn of the Dreadfuls, you will learn how to coach your offspring to greatness.

Mr. Bennett assumed the Spread Eagle Stance, scowled, and bellowed, “HAA-IEEEEEEEEEEE!” ….he asked Jane to try a cry of her own. “Haiee,” she said. “Did you hear that, girls?” Mr. Bennett cupped a hand to his right ear. “I do believe a mouse just coughed... Your battle cry does more than announce your presence… it unchains the tiger within.”

You will learn the proper thing to say when society questions your motives.

“…You mean to have her---? ...She’s but a child!” “Childhood is a luxury we can no longer afford.”

And, you will learn how to show your children the proper way to dispatch unmentionables to the fiery pits of hell.

“Run out to the tool shed and fetch along the biggest pair of shears you can.”

Dawn of the Dreadfuls is an exciting, entertaining romp through Jane Austen’s England where zombies have infected the masses. Author Steve Hockensmith has a way of making zombie attacks funny and the combat training funnier! For Austenites, you will love to see your favorite characters in a new light, before the famed Pride and Prejudice story commenced. Did you know that Jane was once courted by a plump, arrogant, coward? Have you read of Elizabeth’s infatuation with the most highly regarded martial arts master? All of this and more awaits you in the pages of Dawn of the Dreadfuls, the prequel to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains, must be in want of more brains.

Both Dawn of the Dreadfuls and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are available now at Amazon.com.

*Author’s note: I have not reviewed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because although I enjoyed it, I think readers will like this book better. P&P&Z is no doubt revolutionary and entertaining, but if you are a passionate JA fan, you may become bored with the retelling, despite the gooey zombie center. If you are not a JA reader, I recommend both books, but begin with Dawn of the Dreadfuls first.

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Theater or Renter: May 2010

Theater or Renter: May 2010 includes five SF movies Iron Man 2, Robin Hood, Shrek Forever After, Prince of Persia, Survival of the Dead.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

Iron Man 2:

Release Date: May 7th

Listed as:  Action, Superhero Film

Studio:  Marvel Studios

Director:  Jon Favreau

Produced by:  Kevin Feige, Avi Arad, Susan Downey

Written by:  Justin Theroux

Stars:  Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, Mickey Rourke, Gwyneth Paltrow, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Samuel L. Jackson

The Plot / Story: Sequel to Iron Man it's six months latter.  The world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark is the armored Super Hero Iron Man.  Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands.  With Pepper Potts and James "Rhodey" Rohdes at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces, Whiplash and Justin Hammer.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

  • Theater:  I will have to watch this in the theater because the first Iron Man Iron Man 2 Trailer #2 was so good.  I have great concerns about this movie based on the Terrence Howard scandal and advertising.  I'm very unhappy with switching Rohdey from Terrence Howard to Don Cheadle.  This looks like a repeat of the first movie but with two Iron mans in it and multiple iron mongers as villains.  They even went to the point of making a rival weapons merchant who wants to do Tony Stark in through the business world, hrmmm sounds familiar.  Here is hoping that I am wrong.

Robin Hood:

Release Date: May 14th

Listed as:  Action, Drama, Fantasy

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Director:  Ridley Scott

Produced by: Brian Grazer, Ridley Scott, Russell Crowe

Written by:  Screenplay: Brian Helgeland   Story: Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris

Stars:  Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Matthew Macfadyen, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Kevin Durand, Mark Addy, William Hurt, Danny Huston, Max von Sydow

The Plot / Story: It is late 12th century England and Sir Robin Longstride, Earl of Huntington, has returned to his northern English village after fighting in the Third Crusade. Upon arrival, the nobleman and his servant discover the oppression caused by the new Sheriff of Nottingham. Sir Robin uses his intelligence  and military skills to free his home village from tyranny and corruption in England, by taking back what is rightfully his, and by taking back what rightfully is theirs, to restore justice and happiness to England. Robin must also win the affection of the recently widowed Lady Marian while leading his Merry Men of Sherwood Forest to victory and fairness. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

  • Renter:  This looks like they are just trying desperately to capitalize off of gladiator and I'm not a big fan Russell Crow or his movies.  On the plus side: Cate Blanchett, William Hurt and a movie with sword play in it.  This is probably a renter though if I have time or the early reviews turn out to be good I may switch to Theater.

Shrek Forever After:

Release Date:  May 21

Listed as: Fantasy, Comedy

Studio: DreamWorks Animation

Director:  Mike Mitchell

Produced by:  Gina Shay, Teresa Cheng, Andrew Adamson, Aron Warner, John H. Williams

Written by:  Josh Klausner, Darren Lemke, Ryan Harris

Stars:  Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Walt Dohrn, Julie Andrews, Justin Timberlake

The Plot / Story: After all of his adventures, Shrek has become a domesticated family ogre. Instead of scaring villagers away as he used to, Shrek agrees to autograph pitchforks. Longing for the days when he felt like a "real ogre", Shrek is tricked into signing a pact with the smooth-talking deal maker, Rumpelstiltskin.  After signing the contract, Shrek discovers he has been tricked, and the day Rumpelstiltskin took out of Shrek's life was the day that he was born-meaning that he never existed.  Now, stuck in a twisted alternate version of Far Far Away where he has to gather the gang and fix everything. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

  • Theater:  I have loved all of the Shrek movies and expect to really enjoy this as well.

Prince of Persia:

Release Date: May 21

Listed as:  action, adventure, fantasy

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Director:  Mike Newell

Produced by:  Jerry Bruckheimer

Written by:  Jordan Mechner, Boaz Yakin

Stars:  Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina

The Plot / Story: Based on the game Prince Of Persia Prince of Persia HD Movie Trailer.  Dastan is a street urchin in 6th century Persia. Adopted by the king as his heir after showing valor in battle in hopes of keeping the king’s two sons from fighting over the throne.  Dastan teams up with Princess Tamina  to rescue the Sands of Time, a gift from the gods that controls time, from the hands of the villainous nobleman, Nizam.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

  • Theater: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time only caught a passing interest from me.  Movies based on games tend to be a hit and miss venture.  Add to that Disney's involvement and this project had caution written all over it, that is until I watched the trailer above.  I’m now excited about Prince of Persia.  The effects looks good.  I like the use of a broader variety of weaponry especially the more exotic ones.  The trailer does a nice job of setting up the back and forth between Dastan and Princess Tamina, even if a bit cliche.

Survival of the Dead:

Release Date:  May 21

Listed as:  Zombie movie

Studio: Independent Production

Director:  George A. Romero

Produced by:  Paula Devonshire

Written by:  George A. Romero

Stars:  Alan van Sprang, Kenneth Welsh, Kathleen Munroe, Athena Karkanis

The Plot / Story: It's a desperate, nightmarish world where the dead walk the earth, relentlessly attacking the living. Plum Island is a beautiful refuge whose isolation allows two powerful families to maintain a semblance of order in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. Over time the two clans become sharply divided: The O'Flynns believe that the undead must be destroyed without exception, while the Muldoons insist that afflicted loved ones be kept "alive" until a cure is found. Added unto this situation wander a small group of National Guard soldiers who, after robbing the protagonists of the previous film, have decided to strike out on their own in an effort to survive.  Survival of the Dead follows the thieving National Guardsmen characters who briefly appeared in Diary of the Dead.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

  • Renter:  working against this movie is that it's a zombie flick which has been done to undead and like the creatures they feature just won't go away and give me a rest.  That said it's a George A. Romero movie, this is a huge plus.  Romero created the zombie genera and the best zombie movies.  This may be enough to move this movie to theater status and at least makes it a renter.

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Manga Review: X/1999 Prelude by Clamp

It’s pretty bad when you look at the cover of a manga a week after reading it and can’t for the life of you remember what it was about. It’s even worse when you flip through it and still can’t remember. That’s how it was with X/1999 Prelude. For those of you mesmerized by words like Voom, Woosh, SKRTCH, and Shaaaa… you will find pages upon pages of them with the confusing swirl of vortex art that denotes quick fighting sequences. Unfortunately, Dragon Ball Z-like action scenes overshadow this plot. Zombies are supposed to be attacking the main character, but you can't really see anything but glimpses.

What is X/1999 about?

I am still not sure. It seems the lead character has been away and returns to Tokyo to get attacked a lot. It is not clear what his goal is or if he even has one.


Well, there are a couple. First, a cool sword forms from a girl's hand. Second, there is an awesomely drawn princess with white eyes and an elaborate costume.

You might ask why I purchased X/1999 Prelude in the first place. Well, this was definitely a case of cover misleading. I saw the moon and the red splotches (which I assumed blood), along with what looked like bridge girders in the background and an ebony-haired hero. This is a good example of me not following my own advice. As I said in a preview post titled, How To Choose A Manga, I missed step #5, which is:

5. Flip through the book and check out the art. Is the detail inside as good as the cover art? Is it appealing to you? Is the printing bad, or is it crisp and clean? Do you stop every so often to let a “wow” or a “ooooohhhh” slip from your lips? If you realize it’s a steampunk fantasy once you get inside and you don’t like that sort of tale, please don’t buy it just because you like the cover. You will be disappointed.

Luckily, I bought this one early in my manga-buying days and hopefully have learned my lesson. I wouldn’t recommend buying this series unless you are a big DBZ fan or enjoy constant action with little plot.

Theater or Renter: February 2010

Theater or Renter: February 2010 includes four SF movies The Wolfman,Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, The Crazies, Cop Out.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

The Wolfman:

Release Date:  February 12

Listed as: SF, Remake, Classic Horror

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Director:  Joe Johnston

Produced by:  Scott Stuber, Rick Yorn, Sean Daniel, Benicio del Toro

Written by:  Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self

Music by:     Danny Elfman

Stars:  Benicio del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving, Geraldine Chaplin

The Plot / Story: This remake keeps the plot line of the original.  Lawrence Talbot returns to his ancestral homeland to find his missing brother.  Villagers are being killed by a nightmarish beast and the search reunites him with his estranged father .  Talbot's lager concern is the discovery of a side to himself which he never could have imagined existed  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Release Date:  February 12

Listed as: SF, Fantasy Adventure

Studio:  Fox 2000 Pictures

Director:  Chris Columbus

Produced by:  Chris Columbus, Michael Barnathan, Karen Rosenfelt

Written by:  Craig Titley, Joe Stillman

Stars:  Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean

The Plot / Story: An adaptation of The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1).  A teenager named Percy Jackson discovers that he's the demigod son of the Greek god, Poseidon. He embarks on a journey across modern-day America with his friends Annabeth Chase, the demigod daughter of Athena, and Grover Underwood, a satyr.  They are on a quest to save his mother, return Zeus' stolen lightning bolt and prevent a war between the gods. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

The Crazies:

Release Date:  February 26

Listed as:  SF, Horror, Zombie Style

Studio:  Overture Films

Director:  Breck Eisner

Produced by:  Michael Aguilar, Rob Cowan, Dean Georgaris

Written by:  Scott Kosar, Ray Wright

Stars:  Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker

The Plot / Story: Remake of the 1973 film of the same name.  The inhabitants of a small Iowa town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. One man, his wife, a nurse, and the sheriff try to survive this plague, but when the military are killing everyone on sight, they're going to have to fight their way out, or die by either the plague or the military.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Cop Out:

Release Date:  February 26

Listed as:  Buddy Comedy

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Kevin Smith

Produced by:  Marc E. Platt, Polly Johnsen, Michael Tadross

Written by:  Mark Cullen, Robb Cullen

Stars:  Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Adam Brody, Kevin Pollak, Guillermo Diaz, Seann William Scott

The Plot / Story: Two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card who find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)  This used to be named A Couple Of Dicks but was renamed to Cop Out.  The slogan is "rock out with your glock out

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Theater or Renter: October 2009

Theater or Renter: October 2009 includes five SF movies Zombieland, The Invention of Lying, Where the Wild Things Are, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant, Astro Boy. Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?


Release Date: 2 October 2009

Listed as: Action, Comedy, Horror

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Director:  Ruben Fleischer

Produced by:  Gavin Polone

Written by:  Paul Wernick, Rhett Reese

Stars:  Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin

The Plot / Story: A post-apocalyptic zombie comedy featuring a group of survivors crossing the zombie plague ravaged America as they fight back.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

The Invention of Lying:

Release Date: 2 October 2009

Listed as: Comedy, Fantasy

Studio:  Warner Bros., Universal Pictures

Director:  Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson

Produced by:  Ricky Gervais, Dan Lin, Lynda Obst, Oly Obst

Written by:  Ricky Gervais, Matthew Robinson

Stars:  Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor, Fionnula Flanagan, Rob Lowe, Tina Fey

The Plot / Story: Set in an alternate reality we ask what if everyone can only tell the truth except for a lone writer who tells the world's first lie and learns to wield it's power for personal gain. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Where the Wild Things Are:

Release Date: 16 October 2009

Listed as: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Director:  Spike Jonze

Produced by:  Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman, Maurice Sendak, John B. Carls, Vincent Landay

Written by:  Screenplay:  Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers  Picture book: Maurice Sendak

Stars:  Max Records, Catherine Keener, Mark Ruffalo, Lauren Ambrose, Chris Cooper, James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker

The Plot / Story: Based on the Children's picture book by Maurice Sendak.  Follow the imaginary adventures of a young boy named Max.  A rambunctious and sensitive boy, Max feels misunderstood at home.  When his mother sends him to his room for misbehaving he runs away.  Finding a boat he sails to an island inhabited by monsters called Wild things.  There they crown max as their ruler.   (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant:

Release Date: 23 October 2009

Listed as: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Director:  Paul Weitz

Produced by:  Lauren Shuler Donner

Written by:  Novel:  Darren Shan  Screenplay:  Brian Helgeland

Stars:  Chris Massoglia, Josh Hutcherson, John C. Reilly, Michael Ceveris

The Plot / Story: Based on the first three books of the book series The Saga of Darren Shan by author Darren Shan.  A fantasy-adventure about a teenager who unknowingly breaks a 200-year-old truce between two warring factions of vampires. Pulled into a fantastic life of misunderstood sideshow freaks and grotesque creatures of the night, one teen will vanish from the safety of a boring existence and fulfill his destiny in a place drawn from nightmares.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Astro Boy:

Release Date: OCTOBER 23rd

Listed as: Action, Animation, Sci-Fi

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Director: David Bowers

Produced by: Maryann Garger

Written by: Timothy Harris

Stars: Freddie Highmore, Nicolas Cage, Donald Sutherland, Kristen Bell, Eugene Levy, Nathan Lane, Bill Nighy, Madeline Carroll, Matt Lucas

The Plot / Story: Set in futuristic Metro City, Astro Boy is about a young robot with incredible powers created by a brilliant scientist in the image of the son he lost.  The new boy unable to meet the man's  expectations, he embarks on a journey in search of acceptance.  Becoming part of a group of rowdy kids led by a girl named Cora, and experiencing betrayal and a netherworld of robot gladiators led by the greedy ring master, Ham Egg, before he returns to save Metro City and reconcile with the father who had rejected him.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

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In a world where everyone can only tell the truth... ...this guy can lie.

Star Wars: Galaxies: Death Troopers

deathtroopersThis is something I have wanted to see for a long time (sort of). I have advocated for a decade now that franchise owners should run their MMO plots in tandem with their franchise fiction.  It would provide:

  • a better immersion into the setting
  • more content for the game
  • cross-promotional opportunities to pull players into the franchise, and readers into the game.

This is not what I had in mind though...

Worse idea since the Christmas Special?

Death Troopers is probably the stupidest idea to hit a franchise since Star Trek Voyager.  Simply, it is zombies in Star Wars, and not even an original or setting consistent attempt to capitalize on the zombie Crazy.

To make matters worse, they are implementing it in Star Wars Galaxies, the game Sony Online Entertainment is seeing how many time they can ruin it before it just dies.

I miss Galaxies

It is no secret that I am a huge Star Wars fan.  In fact, I have the posters for Episodes 4, 5, and 6 hanging in my living room over my coach.  I used to play Star Wars Galaxies... a lot.

I left the game twice after major recodes of the game that made it simply unplayable in any fashion that could be described as fun.  They have offered me several free trials to try to lure me back, and I always update my client (which I still haven't uninstalled).  The hope returns that the game will be fun again, but that is quickly crushed.

Is there hope?

In the lead up to the release of Death Troopers SOE has plans to overhaul some of the core systems again.

  • Update 13 will add in Star Wars Chronicles.  A system for players to make their own missions (PvE and PvP)
  • Update 15 will overhaul the Galactic Civil War system

Updates 14 and 15 will be the Death Troopers additions.

O, the pain of it all

Yet again, I am torn whether or not to dust off my old account and give Galaxies another try.  If you are still playing, let me know how the gameplay is now

(via Club Jade.)

Exploring: Dead Snow

dead-snow-posterDead Snow, also known as Død snø,  is a Norwegian horror film that follows a more classic 80's horror model... young adults partying in a remote location where a merderous mosters awaits it's next victem. My hope is that this film keeps the elements that made the 80's horror films so great:  a subtle moral message, the horror is more in ones mind rather then attempting to show all of it, and using subtle sexual subconscious messages to enhance the thrill of the experience of the movie.

This is not even a renter for me.  I love a good horror film but I have been let down too many times.  Horror movies had a shift in focus from true horror which H.P. Lovecraft describes in his definition of supernatural horror in literature and this modern celebration of torture.  I need to care about the characters and their survival.

Let me know what you think.  Will you go to see Dead Snow in the theater on June 16 or rent it?  If you have seen it in the theater should I go see it and why?

Read more on Dead Show here

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Fans vs Haters

14/365... Haters!!
Image by Erik J. Gustafson via Flickr

I am so sick of the haters.  Unfortunately they are turning me to the dark side...

I started dropping RSS feeds that "Why I hate..." and "Which do I hate most..." posts.  Now, I feel a little mixed up about a post over at Club Jade.

Obey me or I hate you!

It is a plague, an epidemic.  Like a zombie outbreak where the zombies look like regular people, feeding off the brains of the unaffected- the chattering class of haters posing as fans roam the world chanting, "Obey me or I hate you!"

  • Fans are driven to seek out and discuss the things they love.
  • Haters are driven to seek out and discuss the things they hate.

Every day, I find so called fan blogs that are trying to profit from the controversy they gain from hating something that is either easy to complain about or that will stir up controversy.  They are easy posts to write and they generate traffic, but the are corrosive to the dialogue and our collective dignity.

I feel bad writing this...

because I risk becoming one of them, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

Life is far too short to spend it in pointless sniping and complaining about every little thing in the universe that doesn't go your way.

I feel like a lone voice in the wilderness.  I know I am not alone.  From your emails and comments, I know that there are more Fans than Haters.  We are just a silent majority.  It is time to rise up!

Fans are not Emos!

It is time we stood up and took fandom back from these people!

  • People are not stupid for liking something you don't.
  • People are not stupid for hating something you like.
  • A Franchise is not ruined because you don't like a parts of it.
  • The creator has the right to do whatever they creatively with their work and don't require your approval.
  • Homogeneity is not required for a series to be good.
  • Objecting to the morality of a work may say more about you than the work.  Examine that first.
  • If you don't like a certain type of story, you are not a fan of that genre/subgenre.
  • Respect the opinions of others unless they are racist, sexist, homophobic or bigoted in some other way.

The genesis of the problem

I stopped reading io9 a long time ago because there is nothing of value on their site.  I have dropped several blogs from my feed reader because they cited io9 too often and started becoming as full of venom.  I don't believe that Club Jade is their yet, but it is exhibiting some of the early signs of contagion.  I hope they don't contract the disease.

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Review: Dead High Yearbook by Dutton Books

deadhighDead High Yearbook is a hardcover comic book about a pair of dead teens who create a high school year book by matching live photos with dead photos of teens that have passed on. Each dead photo goes with a story and during this yearbook class, you learn about teens, their obsessions, and how they died. A great concept and one that could go further given the proper imaginative writers to work with. As it stands, the art is well done, but I just didn’t find any of the stories that exciting. Probably the most interesting story is the one titled “Fear Pressure”.  A fat chick and a wimpy boy like each other. They go to a herbal remedy shop where they are promised their bodies will change to their liking. Soon the chick is losing deadhigh2weight and the dude becomes Arnold Schwarzenegger. Both of them are excited and love their new bodies, but then the remedy goes overboard. The muscle man explodes from the pain of his muscles expanding and the skinny chick dissolves into just an eyeball with a tail. In the end, they are together in separate jars, nothing but alien-looking blobs.

Horror fans may dig this book just for the cover. It looks like a real yearbook with a bloody handprint on the front. Who doesn’t want something cool like this to display in their personal library next to their flesh-like Evil Dead journal and vampire coffin kit? As for story, I might pick up later books to see if the stories get better, but this one is plain eye candy with mildly amusing tales. If you would like to check this book out, they have a preview at Amazon.com here: Dead High Yearbook

Jane Austen VS. Supernatural Monsters?

I am a Jane Austen fan. I've read everything she wrote and have read so many JA knock-offs, they fill several shelves in my library.  I've seen every JA movie adaptation (even the bad modern ones), read JA blogs, and listen to the JA Podnovel Podcast regularly. ssA while ago, I read a mystery by a fabulous JA author named Carrie Bebris.  Suspense and Sensibility or, First Impressions Revisited: A Mr. & Mrs. Darcy Mystery, is an entertaining tale about how Lizzy and Darcy attempt to help Kitty find a husband. The story revolves around a magic mirror that Mr. Darcy emphatically refuses to believe has supernatural powers. The reason I mention this book is because it is an excellent example of Jane Austen’s characters and the supernatural world working well together in a tale.

But now, there is a new book coming in May 2009, called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now with Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem! By Seth Grahame-Smith. When I heard about this, I had to take a second look. The book cover shows potential and I am even a pzlittle excited to see if this guy can pull it off. Jane Austen seemed to be fascinated with gothic horror herself, which can be seen in her novel Northanger Abbey. I have high hopes that she would have enjoyed a good laugh about the book’s title and perhaps even applauded such an effort.

Unfortunately, the second piece of news buzzing around the net is that Elton John’s Rocket Pictures is making a movie they are affectionately calling "Pride and Predator". Whether this little film is connected with the new zombie book or if it is completely different is unknown. Some news sources are lumping them together as one entity, but from the description on Variety.com, this flick definitely sounds more alien than zombie related. Is it possible that non-SF news reporters don’t know the difference between aliens and zombies? Perhaps this is the reason for the generalization.

Whatever the case, these new JA spin-offs are strange to say the least. What I want to know is...Can they pull this off or are these going to be put down as what never to do to a classic? I guess we'll have to wait and see. If this film or book does well, I can predict what we can expect down the road, but really, “Frankenstein and Juliet” or “Oliver Twisted”, don’t seem to have the same appeal.

If you are a JA fan, or just want to find out what all the buzz is about, visit these links: Carrie Bebris, JA mystery author  http://www.carriebebris.com/ Pre-Order Pride and Prejudice and Zombies On Amazon Listen to JApodnovel for JA readings and news: http://japodnovel.mevio.com/

JMS on Forbidden Planet, World War Z, Lensmen and Last Words

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J. Michael Straczynski has given us a bunch of updates:

Forbidden Planet

I'm on draft two of Forbidden Planet, and the process is going well, very exciting stuff, and I hope I can talk about some of that in more detail soonish (JMSNews).

While I am not a big fan of remakes, if anyone could make this movie right, it's Joe.  Rumors persist that the new Forbidden Planet will be a trilogy explaining what happened to the Krell.  I cannot wait to learn more.

World War Z

About to make the final touches to World War Z, then with any luck we can get this thing into pre-productoin also soonish (JMSNews).

I am a little tired of Zombie movies.  The book was good and the audiobook was better.  I am curious how they are going to do the film.


Draft One of Lensman is in, now working on draft two (JMSNews).

The Lensmen is E. E. Smith's Space Opera masterpiece which defined an entire genre.  The very notion of the creator of Babylon 5 working on what will hopefully be to first film in the series makes me as giddy as a kid on Christmas Eve.  Note to Hollywood: Green light this film!

Ninja Assassin

There have been a couple of previews for Ninja Assassin, and the audience scores have been just terrific. I have a suspicion that this is going to do very well (JMSNews) .

This is the next film from the Wachowski brothers who made The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and Speed Racer.  Need I say any more?

Last Words

The pilot script for Last Words has gone in to Dreamworks, and they're very very pleased with the script. So we'll see where this goes (JMSNews).

Wait a minute... Joe + Dreanworks + pilot = awesome series I need to see.

Other News

Interestingly, due to all the writing work, I've lately begun to be offered directing gigs, most of it in the SF genre (natch). Nothing has grabbed me enough yet to want to tackle it, but we'll see what the future holds. A couple of studios have extended the offer for me to write and direct my own stuff, which is pretty cool.

My agent has forbidden me to take on any other screenplay assignments until March/April, but some projects have begun to circle Casa Straczynski of late, looking for an open place to land when an opening comes. Some very cool stuff on the horizon (JMSNews).

Anything I get from Joe, I am ready to go.  Great news all around.

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Do you share the same passion as Zombies do?

uc-brain2 Do you love brains as much as zombies do. I love this handbag, I wonder if it's big enough to use as a gym bag. It looks like a brain and I bet you could make heads turn if you walked into a room with it. The bag was designed by Jun Takashi, It is made of wool and I wonder if someone out there could come up with a knitting pattern for a project that would rock, lol. Thanks BoingBoing for showing me this one.

Top Ten Artist of the Week (12 Aug 2007 – 19 Aug 2007)

I have been listening to a lot of music lately, the writing is in full swing, so I thought I would share my Top Ten Artists from Project: Shadow’s Music Profile at Last.fm. I must say, I was surprised by the list a little, and as usual there are a lot of ties. My top 10 this week has 13 Artists in it. Not because it is such a luck number but because there are 10 songs tied for the number 4 slot on the chart. 4. Rob Zombie, Nightwish, Ann Wilson, Meat Loaf, Dio, HIM, Leave's Eyes, Type O Negative, Fields of the Nephilim, and Blackmore's Night.

  • Rob Zombie
    • I saw the trailer for the remake of Halloween, at at first I was angry. This is not the kind of film that needs to be remade. Then I saw that Rob Zombie was doing it. I shrugged and thought to myself that it could not be all that bad, and found myself playing more Zombie. My hopes are up.
  • Nightwish
    • What can I say? I am surprised they didn't make it higher on the charts. Slaying the Dreamer is very close to my heart right now as I am writing the next chapter in Fate's Harrow.
  • Ann Wilson
    • Her first solo album is not out yet, but the Podfather played a track on the Daily Sourse Code, and I ran to the Podsafe Music Network right away to check it out. They have 2 tracks from the new album, Hope and Glory, Where to now St Peter (which she sings with Elton John) is an amazing tune, and her cover of the Immigrant Song blew me away. I am looking for ways to feature them in the Podcast.
  • Meat Loaf
    • What? Don't look at me like that! I am writing, I need the drama and Meat Loaf is good to write too. He was in the Tenacious D movie so, he is cool! Back off buddy. j/k
  • Dio
    • For some reason, his Magica album has been in my thoughts lately. Probably because I want to make an animated film out of it.
  • HIM
    • This is all Pandora's fault. I have been listening to Pandora a lot lately, and I am beginning to realize that I kinda really like HIM.
  • Leave's Eyes
    • Legend Land is the soundtrack of my fiction right now. I cannot wait for the next album.
  • Type O Negative
    • I have really been looking for more music like the song Enemy of the State from Roadrunner United, but I have not found anything. If you know of any songs like it, please send me a note. In the mean time, I am I glad to fill my ears with Type O Negative.
  • Fields of the Nephilim
    • The Nephilim are one of the greatest bands ever. What more can I say?
  • Blackmore's Night
    • Pandora recently introduced me to this band. They are an amazingly fresh and exciting. Most of the write ups on them I found call them Gypsy Rock. Medieval meets classic rock, it is an instant winner.

2. Queensryche and Paul Stanley

  • Queensryche
    • One of my all time top artists, for sure, but lately, I have been getting more and more songs stuck in my mind. Man, I wish their tour came closer to me, I would love to see them live again.
  • Paul Stanley
    • Songs like "Live to Win," "All about you," and "Wake up Screaming," have become instant classics for me, I just can't hear them enough. There may not be any more Kiss albums coming, but I hope Paul keeps them coming.

1. Kiss

  • Ok, I am sure you saw that coming. This has been a back to basics week for me, and there is no band closer to my heart than Kiss, and here they are yet again at number 1!

So that is my chart. What is yours? Lets talk in the Forums (link)